Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Walk It Out

Being a generally sarcastic, ill-tempered, intolerant person (Let's be friends--I'm so fun, I swear!), I'm the first to participate in horse shaming. Have you picked up on that in the blog yet?

My horse is fabulous. He's super talented, he puts up with a lot of mistakes, he's safe, he's sane, he's got a great jump, great scope, a gallop for days, and is capable of extreme fanciness on the flat.

But holy shit does he ever know how to act like an unschooled, attention deficient, rank asshole sometimes.

"not listening to your cruel words....or anything else."

Bobby obviously got Monday off, and then I got on for a planned light dressage ride today. The area we completely bombed in our dressage test Sunday was the walk work. We didn't score above a 5.5 on a single movement in that section, and we have never gotten a 5 or below on any movement ever in a test before. For shame.

So this week is going to be all about taking the time to get the walk quiet, connected, and without theatrics. Because llamas do not win the dressage. Especially not llamas that spook at the pile of jump fill that has been in the exact same spot in the ring for the past two months, then trip over their own feet because they're too busy staring at the BM putting hay in stalls, and finish by converting from a llama to a straight up full grown mutant giraffe when you try to get their attention back.

But I digress.

also working on surviving the nonstop rain and mud because
lol we moved to seattle, not new york.

After a warm up on a loose rein, we got to slow motion work. The longer the rein Bobby's given, the better he does because that means all he has to do is trudge along with his nose poked out not actually doing anything. I shorten my reins in tiny increments, and we walk it out with an unrelenting leg on his sides until his nose stops pointing to the rafters. Praise, and then they get shortened a little bit more.

It's a long, boring process, but he's got to figure out that when I pick up my reins and add leg, it doesn't always mean go forth to the trot. Sometimes it just means get your sorry trailing ass under yourself and start walking, heifer.


I was able to run through 1-1 today, but we took a long, long break between the trot and canter work to walk around the ring until Bobby softened. Seriously the most boring training ever, but I refuse to lose easy points on what should be an easy section of the test.

Things could always be worse though. He doesn't take such offense to this sort of thing that I fear to get too close to the wall and lose a knee cap at least.

10 comments:

  1. Walk work is HARD dude. I devoted my entire winter to it and some days we still can't even. I am all too familiar with the drama llama and mutant giraffe bullshit. I swear if I didn't know his parents myself and witness his birth, I'd say my horse was sired by that giraffe from Madagascar.

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    1. Same here! I don't understand whyyyyy it's so hard! It's all they do all day! They should be pros!

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  2. Twister is always trying to break my knee caps. You're lucky.

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  3. I honestly believe that the walk is the hardest gait to master. Cause... ya know... sometimes I want to work on it, but sometimes I just really want to take a break and sit like a sack of potatoes for a few minutes.

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  4. i love how he managed to coat even his eyelids in mud haha. also walk work sucks... my mare is positive that picking up the reins me GO AND GO NOWWWWW lol

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  5. Walking is seriously hard. And dressage judges are less forgiving at the walk I think.

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  6. The walk IS hard, but I do know why- it's four beats and no moment of suspension, which means that it gives you a lot of time and influence to fuck it up. Also, any increased tension messes with the rhythm of the walk in a much worse way than in the trot/canter.

    Poor Robert!

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  7. We spent one entire winter a couple years ago working on our walk, and it made a HUGE difference. However, I think we're due for another walk bootcamp. -_-

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  8. I just don't see why freejog can't become a new movement required.

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.