Friday, February 26, 2016

First Rides on Leah: Video

Leah has been getting the impression that every ride requires leaving home and going to a barn, but today I wanted to prove her wrong, and, it turns out, it was a beautiful day to ride at home.  My goal was to help her have a relaxed (hopefully, rewarding) experience, see how long she could walk a straight line, and let her (and me) practice a little trotting together.

She started out racey on the ground--as if she was nervous about what we were going to do, but with a little lunging and direction changes, she finally slowed to a walk, and I was able to get on and have a wonderful ride.

I think she enjoyed herself, too because she was very loving and tuned in afterward.  Mission Accomplished.  Riding can be fun!


9 comments:

  1. Leah is a sweetie and seems to be in tune with you. I'm sorry to say this but she seems a bit off on her right hind- she slips a bit on it on the lunge and then if you look at her walk and trot it doesn't track up as far and at times seems to slip out (5:07 shows it). She may have just tweaked something. Forgive me, I am no vet and I am probably wrong- I just wanted to point it out in case it wasn't.

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    1. She could be. She was a little lame a couple of weeks ago, although, we thought it was a front foot issue because her head bobbed upward. I'll have to keep an eye on it and ask my vet what she thinks.

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    2. Thanks for pointing it out, Teresa.

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    3. I just watched it again and I think each slip on the lunge came after my tug on the lead. I do a light pull and release to try to bring speed down and it looks like it may have pulled her off balance both directions. Possibly the slipping made her a little sore at the walk?

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  2. I find that at this time of year, with the nice weather beginning and having most of the winter off they are feeling pretty good; lots of energy. When we take charge of that energy it sure does bring them around. I like to add in not just controlling direction and speed, but each foot as well; asking for hip yields in the circle- sometimes just a step or two where they cross the inside foot over, sometimes a yield all the way around the circle; and shoulder yields in both directions. That way, you have all of their body; you are connected with every part of them. It really levels them out quickly too.

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    1. We do that before every lesson, but I skipped through it today for some reason. It may have brought her energy down before moving out on the circle. She wasn't paying attention to where she was putting her feet, or controlling her energy, which is what I attributed the slipping to. I was surprised that she moved out so fast on the line, that's not typical behavior. Maybe spring or herd issues. Thanks for the input and extra eyes.

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  3. You and leah look good together while riding. She settled down after a while and tuned in to you which is always a good thing. She's probably just feeling a little up there in the beginning for whatever reason known only to her. Dusty used to start out like that on the lunge. I didn't know if she was confused or if she didn't like it, so eventually I just stopped doing it. It was easier to just get on and ride with her. Then again she was a lot older than Leah and had more training time on her. It all works out in the end no matter what we decide to do. I think you and Leah have a wonderful future together.

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  4. Thanks. I look forward to being on the trails and out of the arena. I think she'll like that better, too. I'm going to try something different today though. My goal is going to be directing her feet beforehand with yields and the cone game. If I can avoid lunging, it's probably for the better, like you said about Dusty. I'll tape it again, so you'll see how it works. ;)

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  5. Thanks. I look forward to being on the trails and out of the arena. I think she'll like that better, too. I'm going to try something different today though. My goal is going to be directing her feet beforehand with yields and the cone game. If I can avoid lunging, it's probably for the better, like you said about Dusty. I'll tape it again, so you'll see how it works. ;)

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.