Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cantering

I did not want to go to the barn today. I didn't go to the barn Thursday or Friday. I felt sure the apocolypse was upon us with the crazy wind we've been getting. Wind and rain and cold and miserable grey skies make me have zero motivation to do outside things. However, Hubby left for NY for Christmas this morning and I ran out of things to do at home.

the chickens out for a stroll this morning.
There were a few jumps set up in the ring and right away Bobby was focused on them. Forget the fact that we were set for a dressage school. He was set for another jump school. I did a lot of transitions with him for warm up to bring his brain back. After about ten minutes, he started tuning in, although I did have to work every step of the way to keep him straight--he kept drifting in towards jumps.

I wanted to work on the counter canter a bit today. His canter today was really lofty. He's got a big, bouncy stride, but today felt like he was sitting down and going up instead of just bouncing around rushing with his giant dinosaur body. Saying that, he still needs to really work on maintaining the contact during a canter depart. It will probably become smoother as he gets stronger, but right now he's throwing his head up. He's also gaping with his mouth quite a bit during our rides lately. It's about time for teeth again.

Anyway. The counter canter!

I started working with him on this in October. He was getting about halfway around the arena correctly before either breaking to the trot or switching leads. Because he's so easily frazzled when he doesn't understand what you're asking him, I don't correct him when he breaks. I simply move on to something else to give him a mental break and then try again. He did half a lap to the right pretty well, and half a lap to the left really well. I ended it there because I could tell he was starting to overthink things and get a little anxious. Again, it will come with strength.

We worked for another ten minutes at the trot to begin reinforcing the fact that he has to work on other things than the canter... even after we've cantered. Ohhh, the horrors! I snuggled him into his cooler for fifteen minutes to dry when we were done. He's already got a super thick layer of fuzz growing back in. Next year, he's getting a blanket with a hood. He's sweats way too much to have his clip grow in so fast.

things we are not afraid of:
whipping, snapping, blowing tarps.
things we are afraid of:
when the tarp makes horse noises. (cielo nickered from the run in)
"cookie?"

5 comments:

  1. My mare is the same way with counter canter. She's pretty sure that i'm a ridiculously stupid rider who doesn't know her leads properly, so as soon as we hit a corner she gives me a change. I never, ever want to get mad at her for giving me a proper change, but it makes keeping the counter canter difficult.

    PS I love his cookie face.

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  2. Counter canter is so fun...but jumping is more fun...right Bobby?

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  3. I love the picture of the cookie face, Gatsby loves counter canter but loves jumping the most xx

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  4. I have never tried teaching my horses to counter canter but it sounds very hard to do.
    Cute photos :)

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  5. Bobby wants lots of cookies for Christmas lol.

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