Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Mixed Bag

Maisie and I did a little bit of arena work and also a little bit of trail work today. Some parts went better than others. The arena work went very well - she balked briefly at the arena gate (she's never cared much for working in the arena), but then went in - I just kept her head towards the gate. Once in, our walk and walk/halt/walk work was good, and also the backing. She was stopping nicely off my "thought of the rhythm". Then we did some trotting, and again she did very well with the transitions, including some nice trot/halt transitions. We did some of the "momentary transition" work I was discussing several days ago, and that went well, too. Turn on the haunches was improved as well.

We did some brief trail work as well. When we trotted for any significant time, I got the "I'm going to curl up" response when she started to get too forward - I did lift one rein and that helped a bit, but not as much as I would have liked. On the trail we have fewer options - such as turning - although I should make more use of lateral work to keep her moving but controlled in pace. We need to do more work in the arena to solidify things, but for her the arena is a pale substitute - she's always more forward on the trail.

We'll keep on working on it, but I'm pleased with our progress - we'll get there.


  1. OOOh, the old curl up. It is always hard on the trail when you have no place to really circle or school. Lateral work is an excellent idea.

    You might have to be a little more abrupt with the "lifting" on the outside rein. A bit of a "bop" from your hand? Sharp and quick with a softening almost at once. It's kind of the opposite of what happens when a horse throws its head up to escape the contact. You need to make an obvious correction with an immediate reward when the horse goes back to the bit.

    Sounds as if you are well on your way, though. Maise really seems to be trying for you.

  2. Transitions seems to be the running theme for all of us lately. Happy you feel you are making some good progress.

  3. Sounds like a good session! Bruce is another who's much more forward out hacking. So we're responsible for quite a few crop-circles.... although I encourage the "alien explanation" with the farmer!

  4. I have that problem in the arena as well. Sam won't get out of a slow canter in the arena. Even if I get up into a 2 point seat and really ask him to go!!!!! He just bowls along and the moment I have the slightest thought of trot wham we are trotting. Out on the trails I am starting to find some hesitation but when we get through that he has a lovely swinging trot - just wish we could get that in the arena!!!

  5. After all your lovely comments on my blog I thought I would leave one too :) I must say, schooling out hacking (or trail riding as you call it) must be one of the best ways to liven up a horse that got a bit stale in the arena. I find it works well and often improves arena work later on.
    Good luck with the progress :)

  6. I'm looking forward to a little round pen work this weekend, now that the round bale is out of there!

  7. Thanks for the review, I'll put this one on the list!

  8. oops, I meant to post under the book review...


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