Class of 2013?

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:41 am

Demi and MC - thanks for your positive comments! We've not measured Fergal, but think he is about 15.3hh. He's a shade taller than our measured 15.2hh gelding. He feels tiny next to our other big boys (16.2hh 3/4 Irish Draught and 16hh 1/2 Andalusian, very solidly built, and even the 15.2hh boy is much bigger boned than Fergal), but I think he is going to be an ideal size for me.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised I could swing my leg over his rump and drape over him.... my flexibility has definitely declined over the years (I'm now in my early 50s....), but thankfully have retained some!

Next goal is to sit up on him bareback, and then get a few steps. Will do this in an enclosed yard, and just see how we go. The good thing about bareback is that it is easy to slide off if they get a bit tense.

Here's another photo of his cute face!

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Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:17 am

Have made some further small steps with Fergal over these last couple of weeks. Primarily, hopping on bareback a number of times, putting a saddle on his back (no girth yet), and tightening a surcingle and walking around with no bucking. The surcingle achievement was quite a relief. I'm not certain that he won't have another major bucking session, but he seems much calmer with everything, so perhaps getting his brain in a better place (less tension) has made a difference.

Last night, my other-half legged me up and led us around the yard, and I coordinated a leg aid with his voice command 'walk-on'. No dramas at all! Repeated this afternoon (leg up, lead around) in a larger area and again, perfectly fine, seemed calm and confident, and turned around to take a treat from me. Good boy!

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:19 am

Further progress with the young man: having sat on him a few times, we progressed to walking around the yard, then arena bareback, and doing some stop, go and turn.

Also got the saddle on and girth tightened with no drama - I feel that is our biggest achievement so far, given his initial violent bucking reaction to the surcingle. And have walked around, first in the yard, then the arena with the saddle on - still on the lunge-line, but he's understanding my aids for stop, go and turn very well.

I'm now away for work for a bit, but my other-half will continue some lunge and in-hand work.

Here's a couple of photos to document our achievement! :

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demi
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby demi » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:17 am

Progress!! Congratulations. He looks promising!

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musical comedy
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby musical comedy » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:40 am

You're really talented with the young horses. I'm impressed. Getting on an unstarted horse bareback :shock: I like this young horse a lot and you fit him well.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby StraightForward » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:47 pm

Nice progress - how exciting to be up in the tack!
The UDBB member known as AQHA Hunter

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Sue B » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Great progress! You guys are really looking good.

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:27 am

I got back from work 2 weeks ago. While I was away my partner kept up a bit of lunging work with Fergal and he's generally much more settled and confident. He got canter right happening reliably, canter left much more difficult though. He also introduced cavaletti. He did have one set back while I was away - Fergal spooked at something and took off bucking around the paddock. And thereafter was suspicious of the surcingle for quite a spell.

Now that I'm back, the aim is to work up to riding again : to that end, we introduced side-reins this week, and I've also been up on him a couple of times, and walking around bareback on a short lunge line. Tomorrow, weather permitting (ie as long as not too windy or pouring with rain!), will put the saddle on and have a mosey around the arena.

Here's a few recent photos, was pleased with how he accepted the side-reins, not too much fuss, tossed his head a little like he was trying to work out the contact, but happy to go forward. I forgot to put his hoof boots on, so he wasn't moving out quite as freely as when he has his boots on (he's barefoot, and still adjusting to our conditions), so we kept this session short, but he was very biddable. I like the way he is reaching with a slight arch to his neck, and getting a little bend.

It's hard to believe, but Fergal has been with us nearly 6 months. And I feel that only this last month or so has he got really much more comfortable with the general handling (catching, leading, tying up, feet). It seems to have taken him that long to settle in to his new surroundings and routine. He does seem to be a rather reactive and sensitive type, and I think missing those early years of handling means that it has taken him longer to accept things. But I think we are making progress!

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Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:41 am

And, today, we trotted under saddle!!!! We rode yesterday, just at walk, and mostly following his buddy. Today, didn't have the other horse, but my partner stood in the centre of the ring and we worked around him, and because Fergal felt so comfortable, we both asked for trot and off he went, very matter-of-fact, didn't seem to struggle with his balance. We checked before hand that we felt ready for it ('Do you want to try a 'T'? - code, because F. knows the word 'trot' so well!!), then I just shorted my reins a little, took some mane with my outside rein for extra balance and we both said 'trot-on', and got a nice prompt transition. Finished with a few circles of walk, asking for a little correct bend (difficult to the right, where he wants to fall in), to which he responded, after a little persistence - 'here is my leg, now flex a little, but keep going'!. Feeling happy with the young lad right now - given what I've seen he can do (panic and buck big time), I'm really happy he is responding well to the initial rides.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:49 pm

Have had 9 rides now, including one 'out on the trail' (aka, down and up our long driveway). He had his buddy there, and happily walked and trotted both behind and in front. Already he is much more prompt in his transitions, and starting to bend correctly. I'm sure we'll have some testing times (as has exvet in the other thread!), but happy with progress so far.

Hope that you others with similar age youngsters are having fun (Linden16? Red's Mom? - I see Heddylamar and Straightforward posting in the 'training' forum...)

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Sat May 05, 2018 12:18 am

I'm glad to see you're out and about on your boy Anne. He's looking great! I've been reading your posts here, but obviously not posting much.

Maia's advancing nicely, despite the human setbacks we've faced since Thanksgiving ... no more breaking myself? I hope.

She's stepping into the canter immediately, albeit from the walk, on both leads. I introduced shoulder-in at the trot last week, to try an exercise from a former trainer — shoulder-in at trot, 1-2 steps straight, then canter. She picked up the concept of shoulder-in at the trot immediately, but the trot-canter transitions are still a challenge.

Once my wrist is fully healed and out of the splint, I'm going to introduce cross rails and trails. We've done some in-hand trail walking, but there's only so many miles I'm going to walk her ... it would be better if she'd trot along side me while I ran trails :lol:

Of course, I've been out of town all week, and the BO called the other day to say Maia's lame, but not so lame she's taking it easy. No, my girl has been out running like a crazy woman up and down the pasture. BO thinks it's likely an abscess.

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Tue May 08, 2018 12:08 am

Oh, I hope Maia comes right quickly.... if it is an abscess, running around on it is probably the best thing she can do!

I probably jinxed myself by posting above.... the very next day Fergal was in a spooky and somewhat uncooperative sort of mood. We'd done a spell of okay walk/trot work (marred by some stopping and looking/spooking-in-place, though I got him going again), then were trotting past C and boom - spook, leaping forward with small bucks, getting bigger.... I couldn't stick on, but managed to fall quite well, rolling over my right arm/shoulder/hip, and despite being a bit sore, hopped back on and did some further work. I'd actually read up the night before on 'how to fall off', so remembered the salient points (push away from horse, tuck and roll), and having this fall has actually made me more confident that I can cope in the future. I mean, I do hope to be able to stop him bucking, but if I can't at least (touch wood!) I can bail in an effective manner.

Had one more 'trail' ride and one more arena ride (no problems, though he *was* a bit spooky in the arena) before heading back to work (away from home), but my partner will keep up with the lunge and in-hand work while I'm away. My mission while I am away is to try to keep my fitness up, to which end I am looking up gym exercises for riders (have access to a basic gym), and will try to walk up and down the available stairs (3 flights), 10 times per day..... I'm on a boat, so 'real' exercise opportunities are limited....

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:39 pm

I picked up some resistance band and hand weight exercises from physical therapy last fall for my left hip that I’ve kept in rotation. The increased strength in my legs (and I’m already strong — distance runner, bike commuter) has had a big impact on leg effectiveness in the saddle. No more wimpy left leg :D

Pistol squats. This guy has a great how-to progression for all sorts of squats — use a chair, nearly sit down. Eventually, after you learn the movement, you can forgo the chair.

Romanian deadlift. Begin by picking up something light (5#) from the seat of a chair, eventually moving the object to the floor over the course of 2 weeks.

Lateral squat-walk with resistance band. The key is to side step (v. drag your foot) and never allow the band to become loose.
Last edited by heddylamar on Wed May 09, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:42 pm

And a few more:

Squats and bridges on a bosu ball. Any sort of unstable surface will work for these. Even standing on a foam pad v. hard floor.

Lunges with resistance band. This guy has the best explanation of form that I found online, although my PT had the band above the knee, not below.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:52 pm

Anne wrote:I couldn't stick on, but managed to fall quite well


Ouch!! Hopefully no lasting bruises were incurred! It's crazy how quick a 1,000+ lb horse can relocate itself ... right out from under the rider!

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Thu May 10, 2018 12:57 am

heddy - thanks *so* much for the gym stuff, it is really helpful to have 'real world' feedback on useful exercises. I managed 12 flights of stairs yesterday, and 8 so far today, so one more 'rep' to get in before bed time...

My bruises are healing but I have one on my right elbow which is making my 'plank' exercises painful at present..... it is improving daily but a bit of a nuisance at present. Any of the balance exercises are tricky as we are in 2 to 3m swells, but hey, it adds to the challenge!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Thu May 10, 2018 2:18 pm

The unstable surface of the swells will add to your core strength! Just stay near a wall so you can stick a hand out for balance if need-be.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby khall » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:39 pm

Ouch! No fun when you get tossed I know Anne! I'm still working with my 2014 filly, not on her yet, just ground stuff but very pleased with what I am seeing. Updating her thread.


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