Tuesday, May 7, 2013


This Sunday we're headed to BCHP where Bobby is, without exception, as squirrely and as squiggly as they come. Side reins are getting packed alongside the longe line and we'll be taking advantage of their round pen before even heading over to the warm up.

To work on the issue of Bobby's cracked out gerbil brain at home, today I pulled out the draw reins and we headed up to the outdoor.

working on no llamas last summer.
Obviously I don't put draw reins on, crank my horse's head down, and call it a victory. They come with their own set of problems. He wants to put his poll down too low and when asked to do something really hard, he tries to curl behind the bit. However, for Bobby, just wearing them is enough to hold his attention and to keep the periscope down. It's easier for me to get him going forward and bump his head up than it is to bring the drama llama head down, fight for bend, fight for straightness, and fight for a sliver of his attention.

To start with we alternated between a working trot with half halts to get him sitting on his butt instead of dragging his toes, lengthenings down the long side, and leg yields. The arena was sectioned off to measure out a large dressage ring for a rider that had a dressage show last weekend, so I worked on parts of our test.

Our dressage judge for the show told me that Bobby almost leg yields out on a circle when coming to the canter depart and I need to work on keeping him straighter. I can feel him drift out, but I guess I've just been ignoring it. We had several discussions about my outside leg pressing against his side not meaning "ignore the canter cue" or "pick up the wrong lead" or "throw a shit fit because you have to stay straight". Eventually we got it sorted out, but it's going to be something we need to keep working on.

It wasn't a breathtaking dressage school by any means, but the problems were worked through as they came up and we moved on instead of constantly fighting each other. If he can just learn to keep his focus while outside, we'd be in good shape. Tomorrow I'm going to longe him in side reins and see if we can have a polite school outside without the draw reins.

He's staying in tonight because his shoes are desperate to part ways with his feet and I don't want them getting ripped off before the farrier gets out tomorrow morning.


  1. Cute picture. Yay for a sucessful ride.
    I was riding a horse for someone yesterday and this horse waa really bad about drifting out in the canter. I was told to actually use my outside rein and leg to make him not drift out. It seems really stupid because using the outside rein is pretty much the opposite of what we want me it actually works. Just a suggestion.

  2. Yay for progressive rides. It's always nice when a dressage judge gives you actually useful advice.


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