Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

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Kyra's Mom
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Kyra's Mom » Fri May 15, 2020 6:06 pm

Rosie...riding boots are definitely supportive. Just take it easy and see how it feels. Luckily your guy has been in work so it should be a piece of cake.

Moutaineer, I had a mare that went psycho on MSM. Very strange but I rechallenged her and it definitely was the MSM.

I have had some good rides. Our weather is a little schizo right now. 80 degrees + one day and 55 the next...rinse, repeat. Plus it started raining off and on (which we sorely need). That pattern is supposed to continue over at least the next week. I don't mind at all. I far prefer 60-80 than 80-100 (July and August). I am going to make the most of it.

I have been working on bending lines and getting her to change said bend smoothly and with no change in tempo. She is doing well...once we dispensed with the bird drama. Lordy, birds bother her. Big birds, little birds. The other day, I finally had to set her down and gruffly tell her to get over it...which she did. She was spooking and slamming on the brakes at birds 30 feet away in the pasture :roll: . Now the barn cat could slink out and hunt his way down between the pasture and the arena and he didn't bother her whatsoever. Ahhh. We ended our session with that walk--canter 1/2 circle--trot SI--walk. She did it quite well. She seems much more steady into the right rein going left. That has really been a bugger to get her to really take that rein and she is doing much better. Yesterday, she was sopping wet and dirty so she just got lunged in the indoor but man she was moving well. Really articulating her joints (She isn't known for that always being easy. Tension tightens her into a pogo stick :P ). I think working in the indoor had her a bit more focused on me and we even got some nice lateral work. I would have her leg yield to the rail then trot off and we also did some halt, back up and either trot or canter off. Quite a nice session.

The Spanish walk work is progressing. I am still not getting her to pick her foot up and OUT but she is picking her knees up much higher with much less stomping. She is also starting to get the idea to keep her rear end under her instead of parked out. Yesterday we even got a bit of 'polka'. I would ask for a leg raise then walk her forward 2 steps, ask to raise again, walk forward 2 steps, etc. I am not yet asking for alternate legs. We did a set of right then a set of left. I think we might get it...eventually.

Happy riding all.

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Imperini
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Imperini » Fri May 15, 2020 6:55 pm

Kyra's Mom wrote:She is doing well...once we dispensed with the bird drama. Lordy, birds bother her. Big birds, little birds.


Sounds like she would have enjoyed my arena the other morning. I was getting to the barn around 5:30am to ride before work because we were nearing 100F temps during the day and for some reason she decided that the far end of the arena obviously contained a horse eating monster and she was not going down there. I finally get her somewhat settled and we're going toward the scary zone and a big raven with a dead thing landed on the arena wall right in front of us! Unfortunately having limited time we finished out most of our ride at the other end of the arena...

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Fri May 15, 2020 8:57 pm

Well the darn truck wouldn't start this morning so I had to cancel my lesson. Instead we rode out on the trails for a bit before it got hot. We worked on Junior's walk. His go to is to tense his back and walk fast like he's doing a speed walking marathon. I've been working on really getting him to slow the front end down and accentuate each step or foot fall so that he's showing clear definition.....so far so good and now we're really working on getting the back to relax, swing and get his neck to undulate and telescope out. When he does, we get clear over stride. My hope is that if I can get this consistently throughout most of our trail rides it will be easier to get in the arena. I really have no problem once he's warmed up and especially at the end of lessons; but, I know when it comes to riding a test it will be a challenge to keep him coming through and over his back in the walk. Time. Patience. Insisting that he use himself properly...........we'll see.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri May 15, 2020 9:11 pm

Took a lesson today with The Melty Cheese and ended up executing about a million transitions. I had gone in asking for some help with solidifying the connection. While he is in fact a Very Good Boy, the connection breaks during most transitions of gait, exercise, or direction. And, shame on me, I've been compensating by getting very soft when he's gotten very stiff through the neck. Turns out all I needed to do was pretend to be sidereins, do about 32409384018924 quick-fire transitions to get him feeling responsible for his own balance, and as if by magic the connection improved.

I really struggle with this phase of young-horse development (although at 7, we're really pushing the boundaries of what can be categorized as a young horse). There have to be some ugly-looking and ugly-feeling moments as you start to package them up... and without someone on the ground keeping me honest, I tend to avoid them.

So here's to being kept honest, and hope this rainstorm that just popped up clears out in time for me to ride tomorrow.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat May 16, 2020 4:13 am

It's a huge relief to be able to put my leg on without drama... I'm too breakable for drama.

I had a lesson yesterday for the first time since, when? January? No, I think there was one right at the start of March between one problem and the next. But thinking back on it, he was pretty darned squirrelly then, too. I need to look up when I started him on the supplement in question so I can correlate definitively.

Things went way better yesterday than I thought they might. Neither of us have lost as much ground as I feared we had. He feels really solid in all 3 gaits. Better than before, I think. My seat seems to be pretty solid, too.

Ponichiwa, we are on the eleventy billion transitions thing as our homework for the week. To get him back on his hind end and get our timing and reactions back--and it's a good way to build my somewhat frayed confidence back up safely, I think, too.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Sat May 16, 2020 12:03 pm

Well, I am also in the practice of millions of transitions. My bad habit is not being solid enough *all the time* in my position so that I AM THE SIDE REIN for those moments that I need them. I think I've been so tired from work and life changes that I've lost focus...and miss mare noticed.

Exvet, your description of Jr.'s starting vs. later walk is very familiar to me. Once Em is warmed up I have to slow down the front (where she tends to get prancey if too quick) for a decent pure walk.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Sat May 16, 2020 5:51 pm

Had a wonderful ride on Rip the other day, working on true canter to CC on the circle, had no issues with getting the transitions. Going to give renvere in CC a try to see if that will help him with changes. He just does not understand me asking for FC.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater
Picture of Rip after doing some in hand work especially piaffe. His halts from piaffe are so good, square and engaged. Was trying to show how elevated he can get with his head and neck in the piaffe work.

I have to say after the riding accident my friend had here Thursday it definitely gives me pause.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sat May 16, 2020 8:29 pm

Pleased to report I rode today after having been off for 11 weeks with the broken foot and COVID.

Bliss felt INCREDIBLE. His changes are fully confirmed now, uphill and I had no trouble getting them both ways. He's been doing 3 changes across the diagonal with my trainer but I wasn't brave enough for that today lol. He is also definitely getting the idea of working pirouettes, and canter half pass was no problem. I'm soooo glad I made the decision to put him with the trainer over the winter, and having a broken foot allowed my trainer the time to get his changes fully confirmed without me messing them up. lol.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat May 16, 2020 10:09 pm

Exvet, that walk thing sounds familiar to me, too... I got scolded about letting it get pacey and letting him roll over his front end in my lesson, so yes, we are on the slow it down and ride every stride thing, too.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Aleuronx » Sun May 17, 2020 9:32 pm

Finally got back to riding! Our barn is allowing an additional 2 hr visit for 3 a week. New plan is to tack up, groundwork then lunge a bit and if she feels good in the mind get on. Felt so good to be back even just a little bit. Today we even went for a hack down the redone trail/road afterwards which was great.

This is also great practice for learning to stand by the trailer for grooming/tacking. I'm doing my part to limit my time in the barn and figured why not teach her something she'll need to know anyway?

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Please no judgment on quarantine mane!! :lol: I just don't have time to mess with it, poor thing.

So great reading everyone's updates. It's really helped in this spell of being unable to ride due to limited access.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon May 18, 2020 5:17 am

Aleuronx, at least she has one--Laddie's seems to have fallen, or been rubbed, out. I think it may be a result of his drug reaction earlier in the year, aspecially as it's also developed a white stripe about half along. Very odd and it looks a complete wispy, straggly, stand up mess. In a normal year I'd be freaked out about how to braid it respectably, now I'm just wondering whether to roach the whole lot off and start again.

We dutifully worked on our transition homework today. It seemed to go pretty well... no-one died, at any rate. Our bar is low for now.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Mon May 18, 2020 4:34 pm

Good news/Bad news

Good news...Tio has Finally figured out how to do a real, honest-to-goodness long and low stretchy walk and can do almost half a 20m circle in stretchy trot. Sounds dumb, I know, but that is a major accomplishment for him to be able to stretch out and down without falling on the forehand and trailing his hind end. All the better, he is doing it while I'm rehabbing his stifle. ;)

Bad news...Rudy banged up his left hind cannon bone and is back on the DL. Fortunately, he is not lame, but it is sore to touch and quite swollen. No, I don't know what he did. :roll:

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby heddylamar » Tue May 19, 2020 2:09 am

Maia's down with mastitis again, so she's on IR :(

But, I've been riding Anzia. Thus far, lots of walking ... sideways, up, tail up (she's very "Arab" ATM) ... I'm hoping that one of these days I'll climb on and she'll just walk forward calmly, in two tracks without 30 minutes of reassurances, leg yield, shoulder fore, and turns on the haunches. Until then, my odds of finding anyone willing to ride her on trail with Maia and me is nil :lol:

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Tue May 19, 2020 2:18 am

Loving the updates. I went away for a while, I had to compartmentalize horse stuff for a while. Sigh. Finally riding after 5 weeks off for him and 6 for me. I moved him to his trainer's place for a tune up. Also, our barn just opened up, almost 8 weeks after shutting down. He was the fittest he had ever been going into this so I wanted to make sure we were okay getting back into work. We are still at the trainers and doing more hacking and jumping than dressage. Rounding out our skill set and getting comfortable again. He was quite opinionated the first 2 rides with the trainer but is back to his happy self. We went hound walking for the second time in his life and he finally figured out what he wants to be when grows up, a hound. I wore my safety vest that day, we threw in a few XC fences. And he thinks small fences are for babies, but hey, I'm a baby at this point (I jumped a ton a looooooong time ago). He loves to jump. Next, plastic bag training... :lol:
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Tue May 19, 2020 11:12 am

That picture with the hounds is neat!! It should go over in the “Can your horse do this?” Thread!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 am

demi wrote:That picture with the hounds is neat!! It should go over in the “Can your horse do this?” Thread!


Ha, thank you. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, nor did he. He was enthralled with the hounds. But he loves goats, dogs, cats, everything... I love his attitude.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Wed May 20, 2020 9:08 pm

Some lovely pics everyone! Chisamba I am so impressed with what you do with your horses. You make good changes in them. And what a lovely Oldenburg mare for you to ride!
Dresseur gosh M looks good! One question about his RB have you ever tried RB in SI, HI or renvere? That would help keep him clean I would bet.
Exvet sounds like you are doing so well with Junior. He does have a lovely canter.
Chantal that looks like fun! Its been a long time since I have jumped.

Still plugging along here. Nice rides on Rip and good work with Joplin and Gaila. Yesterday I felt like I had a minor breakthrough with Rip in collected trot, now to see if I can repeat the work!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Thu May 21, 2020 4:54 am

So, I think you all know Kimba is gaited, meaning she started life as a pacer and I had to encourage the 3 basic gaits. This is my excuse for taking so many years to develop collection. When I really asked for proper uphill she would pace. This spring I finally said ok, darn well pace if you want, but uphill or die. ( I am not literal when I chat to my mare, at times I remind her conversationally, that I am actually a predator and if I chose I could eat her instead of riding her , nudge nudge ,wink wink). So progress is happening. So much more shoulder, so much less grounded, and true gaits emerging.

I think it might be similar to the " my hands are side reins" previously mentioned.

Moments of truly uphill lateral work is emerging. Canter more complex than trot. My choice not to have flat changes and have to replace them with good changes seems to be paying off. We are beginning to se the light in a single flying change. I know most people would already have 4 tempi done and dusted, so we are admittedly behind the curve.

Caliburn is smartening up his consistencies in first level work. He too would like to move his riders hands in transitions. Especially down transitions which he would prefer to do hollow.

Saiph is showing excellent ridability. We are beginning to ferl.more like a team I hope that once she trusts me.aids will seem reassuring and confidence building to her during moments of distraction. Right now she thinks aids are optional when she spooks butbit is improving.

So I almost signed up for the first show of the season and the $$$$ shocked me back into reality and I decided to wait for my first schooling show. Entries close next week so I could change my.mind.

Any folks in the northeast hitting the WHH dressage show?

Keep calm ant canter on!!
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Thu May 21, 2020 4:59 am

And because I couldn't get these on the previous post

I believe I can see a more uphill through connection. I hope I am not fooling myself lol
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Fri May 22, 2020 10:07 am

Chisamba your guys look great!! So nice to see. :)

I got some new video of Bliss yesterday. He is so fun to ride now. He was fun before but he's even more fun now. I haven't had a lesson since Feb so I still need help figuring out how to ride the new Bliss, but I'm still very pleased with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfGzufBjJRE

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Fri May 22, 2020 2:03 pm

Bliss looks great!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Fri May 22, 2020 4:19 pm

Super, Rosie! and Chisamba! Lots of great pics!

Laddie and I are getting it back together. We had a productive lesson yesterday with a comfortably "packaged" horse (no trailing limbs, which is hard work for a horse that is all legs) and some of our best countercanter work ever.

Trainer reckons I have learned to be still and not attempt to micromanage during our hiatus.

I think I'm just so happy to be back in the saddle with a sound, well horse and a far less stressful life that I'm just having fun and have no great ambitions other than enjoyment of the moment, which makes me a much less tense and fiddly rider.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Fri May 22, 2020 4:22 pm

How are Maia and Rudy doing?

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Fri May 22, 2020 4:32 pm

Rudy is all healed up but it has been raining and gale-force winding for 3 days now, so leg better but no can ride. On the plus side, this high desert has received almost 2" of rain, so things are finally greening up some. :)

Great video, Bliss and really neat photos Chisamba. Oh yeah, Chancellor too. Love seeing how well all our ponies are doing.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby heddylamar » Fri May 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Maia's infection is finally dwindling! Still a bit of gook, but she's not run a fever since Saturday. Tomorrow's the last day for antibiotics, then, hopefully I'll be able to get back on her!

In the meantime, I've been riding Anzia. The differences between them is amazing. Across two generations I have a very nervous, reassurance needed every step horse, then a bold, brave, curious creature.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat May 23, 2020 4:07 pm

My horse was sound when I wasn't really at the barn during the shelter in place-now I'm back out and having soundness issues. Go figure.
Having the local teaching hospital vets out soon to do a full workout and hopefully get this guy going strong.

I'll live vicariously through you guys. Love the photos and stories.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Sun May 24, 2020 6:27 pm

We had another lesson on Friday. After getting a 'surprise' clean change in my last lesson and another during my schooling over the last two weeks, my coach thought we'd warm up working on quickening the hind leg and then go to asking for FC. Well, the quickening of the hind leg exercises at walk, trot and canter worked to get some fantastic forward and back in trot and canter with some great collection. I was also successful in getting Junior to collect and raise the forehand while staying connected .....but.....the FCs.......just didn't happen. He was prompt off the aids at all other times but every time I tried to half halt the right rein in canter he would just flip me the middle hoof. So I told my coach I would go home and work on keeping the connection all the while, every stride in the canter and throughout the simple changes no matter what and then report back later this week for our next lesson. I also told her I wanted to pull back on the FC until I felt I could half halt in the canter as I would in setting up for the FC and know I could put and keep Junior coming through the back instead of shrinking on 'that' side. I know that is the only way I'm going to get clean changes. She told me to ride a lot of forward and back with that focus in mind. Well that's exactly what we've been doing plus I started to do more SI in the canter and started canter half-pass - all to use other exercises to establish and keep a distinct outside rein aid with Junior pushing into it but doing so by coming over his back and maintaining it as a target and rebalancing aid all at the same time. He was complying pretty well; so, I decided I would try simple changes with using the short side for the counter canter pass and the long side for the true canter, using the simple change and keeping everything very prompt and really getting him to sit and collect into it while I approached each corner coming from the short side to the long side......well.....the light bulb went off and Junior produce a couple of clean flying changes......so we quit on that..........goose bumps guys........that's all I can say ;)

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Sun May 24, 2020 6:48 pm

Wow, exvet, that's awesome. I read and take notes. Yay Jr!

(can't wait to get back to dressage work on my guy, I don't have access to my instructor right now)

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon May 25, 2020 4:25 am

Yay on the FCs, exvet!

lipsmacker, I hope your guy goes sound soon.

I had a good lesson today. I thinks it's the hardest Annabelle has worked since her injury. Just lots of moving forward, spiraling, LY and TOF. But we found the outside rein and the left lead canter didn't feel like driving with the steering wheel broken off. My instructor thinks we'll get over the hump by the time she comes back in a couple weeks.

Tesla, I'm sitting on easily sideways. Hope to be on her shortly after my work trip this week. She lunged pretty well today. I'm totally rethinking lunging with her, where I give a whip cue, and then follow up with bumps on the caveson because she just fights any escalation of the whip cues. She definitely came with more fight then flight instinct.
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Mon May 25, 2020 2:57 pm

Thanks for the support guys! It's going to be a long haul despite the glimmer of the light bulb showing up now and then. I know because of Junior's tendency to tighten through the back and get on the muscle when he's asked to do more than he wants to do, something new or just with anticipation that I'm going to have to take this slow and make it very nonchalant which will be harder for me than for him I suspect. I think using exercises that are kind of a sing-song relaxing, rinse and repeat without turning them into a drill session will be key and mixing things up so that the whole schooling session is more of a game than work. Of course to him it's only fun when it comes with lots and lots of rewards (when appropriate). 'That' will be my main task in order to accomplish clean, big changes (quick hind leg) in the long run. He's really starting to fill out more and look like a real welsh cob, probably a combination of the work and his genetics. Of course 'the look' is music to my heart but I know with it comes quite a bit of strength and power that I must keep 'on my side'...........LOL......he's such a stinker in his own right ;)

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Aleuronx » Mon May 25, 2020 8:53 pm

Mane status: unchanged. Still a long, unkempt wild horse mane, someday I will get a square of time to fix it up.

I had some good rides over this holiday weekend. The ride-ability is starting to return and I felt way more influential rather than just crossing fingers and trying to make it around the arena. All just baby stuff, go forward in front of the leg and to the contact in the hand but I'm quite pleased with the progress.

We even managed a nice quiet hack through the growing hay fields and back down the trail road after working in the ring yesterday. Success!

Good to read/hear everyone getting on. Kora turns 5 years old in the beginning of June, once we get a good base level of fitness and submission (ahem mares) I'll start playing with introducing some lateral work.

Thinking by next weekend we'll be able to remove the pre-ride lunging but I'll feel her out per day.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Mon May 25, 2020 9:35 pm

I’m enjoying ALL the reports guys even if I dont comment on them all. My brain is too old to make too many comments lol:

SF, I’m glad you’re getting Annabelle back in work and it sounds like you are figuring Tesla out.

Kimba looks great and I am enjoying watching her progress.

Can’t wait to see pics of Jr. looking like a big boy Welsh Cob dressage horse!

I am happy with Rocky’s progress. I video every few days and it’s quite helpful right now. I really think the canter, our “problem” gait, is improving. She’s more uphill and I don’t have to work as hard to keep her there. I videoed yesterday but the soloshot3 only recorded the first half of the ride thus no right canter pics. The last half of the ride was what I wanted to see but I did get a lot of good feedback anyway.

I am thinking about lessons again but I really think my program at home is working and I don’t want to change things too soon.

I can consistently get her canter uphill now. It’s hard for her to stay uphill like in the pic, but she’s cooperative about it. I am not doing a lot of canter but it’s still more than a month ago. I want all the canter work to be uphill, so I canter only until I can feel her starting to tire, and then do a little more. I’m doing a lot of small halfhalts as we canter, and a lot of trot/canter/trot transitions. The right lead is still harder for her but it has improved too.
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EF6356D8-663F-4A7E-846D-0ADD8C083E54.png (133.36 KiB) Viewed 323 times

Kyra's Mom
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Kyra's Mom » Tue May 26, 2020 6:08 am

It is good to see everyone working hard.

I am actually getting some positive results on the weight loss front. I joined Noom and am finding it quite helpful. I know full well what I should eat and Noom spends more time dealing with the psychology of eating. Between the stress eating of dealing with Mom's failing pup and the bored eating of stay at home...I know what I need to work on. I noticed today that a treat that I usually can eat with abandon to get my sweet fix actually tasted too sweet. What??? I have lost about 3 lbs in a little over a week and I intend to keep that up (maybe not 3 lbs/week but at least the loss part).

I finally got back on Kyra yesterday. Last week temps were in the 40's and 50's and over an inch of rain in 24hrs (we usually only get 12 inches in a year). Too wet to ride in the outdoor and the indoor is too deep and I try not to ride her in there. She can be quite labored in her work so I stuck to lunging for 2 works. Did poles one day and played with distances. I shortened them up to see if I could get her to shorten her trot. She finally got the idea. The other session was short and sweet and we worked lots of transitions...she is 18 y.o. and doesn't need lunging but I am trying to get her in shape and she needs some kind of exercise. Finally got back in the saddle yesterday. The outdoor was still kind of 'gummy' from all the rain so I kept things pretty basic but had a nice session and felt like she was in good self carriage despite the state of the footing. By the end of this week they are talking 100 F!. Pardon my acronym but WTF :shock: . I will definitely be setting my alarm clock and getting out to the barn in the AM.

Happy ricin all.

Susan
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piedmontfields
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Tue May 26, 2020 6:23 pm

You all are inspiring, both with your horses and fitness/health! There are so many great updates, but I wanted to be sure to comment that I really like that canter shot of Rocky, Demi.

We are trucking along with getting back to easy 2nd level/schooling 3rd level balance. Our more modest work in the winter meant that we lost strength and needed to take time to rebuild it.

We were playing the other day with travers to renvers trot on a circle. Miss mare was like :shock: I must use my hind end to do that! After some initial OMGs and a few grunts, she did some very good work in the heat.
FYI, there are some fun training ideas here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4tAio ... iSlXi5DEzA

Emi's 18th bday was yesterday (so she got chiro :-).

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Kelo » Tue May 26, 2020 6:40 pm

Kyra's Mom wrote:I am actually getting some positive results on the weight loss front.


Congrats on finding something that helps, Kyra's Mom! That is great!


The Cowpony and I have been back to training work. Trying to improve the quality of canter as well as the trot, specifically the pushing power and sharpening response to cues. He's been doing well, I think.

My most recent lesson we did a warmup suppling exercise that was basically stay on the rail, renvers/travers/shoulder in, changing every few strides while getting him to move as extravagantly as possible for him. I am mentioning this because 9 months ago, when we were tasked with doing this exercise, he struggled. A lot. He was all over the place in the contact, wanting to drift and cheat. But during the lesson a few days ago, he didn't even blink, just offered it up as simple as you please as we switched from one to the other.

I am acknowledging it because it's so easy to forget or dismiss our progress. Heaven knows I have so many other things to learn/fix/improve, but it's pretty awesome to look back and know we ARE making progress.

While many of the summer shows within range of me are being cancelled, a couple have made tentative plans to be held in June/July/August. I signed up for the end-of-June show. If it seems like it's going to go, we'll switch back to show-prep here in a few weeks. I am crossing my fingers but preparing for the worst. I listened to the webcast about the show precautions, but I typically go to shows by myself, braid my horse myself, all that stuff, so it won't be a lot different from normal for me, honestly. I don't have a whole show barn or a stall lounge :lol: But if I can't find another exhibitor to video me finally showing the GP test, I'm going to be super bummed.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Tue May 26, 2020 9:41 pm

Kelo wrote: My most recent lesson we did a warmup suppling exercise that was basically stay on the rail, renvers/travers/shoulder in, changing every few strides while getting him to move as extravagantly as possible for him. I am mentioning this because 9 months ago, when we were tasked with doing this exercise, he struggled. A lot. He was all over the place in the contact, wanting to drift and cheat. But during the lesson a few days ago, he didn't even blink, just offered it up as simple as you please as we switched from one to the other.

I am acknowledging it because it's so easy to forget or dismiss our progress. Heaven knows I have so many other things to learn/fix/improve, but it's pretty awesome to look back and know we ARE making progress.


You are so right, and that is a great reminder. And look at Cow Pony keep on getting better!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Tue May 26, 2020 10:15 pm

piedmontfields wrote:
Kelo wrote: My most recent lesson we did a warmup suppling exercise that was basically stay on the rail, renvers/travers/shoulder in, changing every few strides while getting him to move as extravagantly as possible for him. I am mentioning this because 9 months ago, when we were tasked with doing this exercise, he struggled. A lot. He was all over the place in the contact, wanting to drift and cheat. But during the lesson a few days ago, he didn't even blink, just offered it up as simple as you please as we switched from one to the other.

I am acknowledging it because it's so easy to forget or dismiss our progress. Heaven knows I have so many other things to learn/fix/improve, but it's pretty awesome to look back and know we ARE making progress.


You are so right, and that is a great reminder. And look at Cow Pony keep on getting better!


Yes yes yes!! And thank you Piedmont for acknowledging Rocky’s canter picture. We have worked hard to get that balance and being able to share it on this progress thread, with people who are working right along with us, and understand that we all have different issues, is sweet.

And Susan, congrats on the weight loss. I am struggling with that myself (as I sit here with a glass of unnecessary wine :? ) and I know how hard it is. I appreciate that you have had so many issues with health, your mom, her pup,...on top of being old!!! And I can say that because I’m older than you!!! Getting old sucks but at least we can still get on a horse! I videoed my ride today but havent watched it yet. When I do, I am not going to get upset at all the jiggling I see. I’m just going to be more determined to do something about it....

Y’all are an encouraging bunch!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Wed May 27, 2020 4:32 am

Demi, that is a nice canter picture.

Ugh, the weight loss thing... I have been working like a slave for the past 5 months, what with cleaning and packing and moving and cleaning and unpacking and now extreme yard work, and I'm now riding again. I'm pretty darned fit, but I'd rather assume that I would also have lost weight with all of that. But no... the opposite. I'll admit that more alcohol than normal (and maybe more chocolate,) has passed my lips, but it's not like I've had the time to day drink and compulsively bake like most of my locked-down, loafing around reading a good book friends and relations.

Yes, I'm bitter.

I'm having good rides, Laddie is happy and forward and willing. I think Piedmont and I are steering the same post-winter course. Trainer reckons two more weeks of steady work and we can start playing with changes again. I told her she can get on for that lesson.

And.. I seem to have a half-lease for Walker, so he can stay in the barn with Laddie for now. He's doing a great job of patiently explaining the concept of contact and on the bit to someone who has been struggling with it, as I did, and being his rock-steady confidence-giving self. Makes me very happy to see the old professor doing his thing again.

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Wed May 27, 2020 5:06 pm

Once again, great posts everyone. I too love your canter picture Demi, and look forward to more. I also struggle with y'all at being excessively fluffy despite walking 2.5-3 miles every stupid morning. I decided to modify my goal a bit for weight loss because I still fear going down the "don't eat at all" rabbit hole, which isn't the best for me health-wise. (At one point I weighed 95 pounds and for at least a decade I never exceeded 110 lbs, had a 15% body fat, 19 BMI and could lift and pack a 125 pound calf all by myself. So weighing 136 lbs feels and looks obese to me, but I don't want to go back to being as thin as I was in my 30's.) New goal is 125 lb by end of summer. If I write it here, maybe I can accomplish that. Now if only I could convince DH to quit buying chips. :P

Rudy and Tio were both sound and healthy for Memorial Weekend. Yay!!! Every day I ride Tio gets a little better behavior and strength wise. This weekend I was able to trot him down a near-by farm road and be super chill about it. Again, doesn't sound like much, but when that big boy puffs up, it can be a tad intimidating. Evan though he squealed and hopped a bit cuz he wasn't ready to go back home, he did not intimidate me and we were able to carry on in a lovely trot home. Still just working the transitions in the arena, making them prompt and from the hind end--bonus points if he can go straight up into a swinging working trot without pony trot first. I swear I will have this goof ball at first level by the end of summer!

Rudy is schooling 3rd level when he's not being a complete cheeky monkey. I'm going to buy that Pixio so I can see if what I feel is what everyone else will see, because when he's focused he feels amazing. he is due for dental work, so I need to get dh and ds to take him to the dentist. I love this horse so much that it gives me horrific anxiety to even THINK about taking him over there and him being tranquilized for the procedure, so it's up to the guys to handle it. Fortunately, Rudy loves my son, who exudes calm confidence when he handles him, as does the vet who does the dentals for us. (For y'all who probably don't remember, Rudy literally tried to kill the a-holes who transported him from previous owner to me. he broke one guy's nose and the other guy's sternum when they tried to drag him onto the truck by his ears in the middle of the night! Owner convinced them to have a cup of coffee while she slipped some Ace to the Rudy and 30 min later, he calmly followed her onto the truck. I received a terrified colt who had not been allowed off the truck or out of his cross ties for the over 2 day trip from California. When they hooked the lead rope on to lead him off the truck, he was afraid to move and the a-hole went to get a whip to beat him off the truck! Dh stopped the two idiots from carrying out their plan and I lead him off. Even though Rudy had only met me one time for a couple of hours a month earlier, he nickered and tried to crawl in my back pocket while I led him off.) Rudy has been my heart horse ever since but I worry that one day someone will try something stupid and either he or the person will wind up badly hurt. Some people just don't listen, ya know?

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Wed May 27, 2020 6:18 pm

Sue, that's quite a story! Poor Rudy--such a traumatic experience. Shame on anyone thinking they can use aggressive force to get a horse to do anything. Horses are bigger and stronger than us and they are flight animals. It's not going to work. As for the dentist--will the vet not make farm calls to do teeth? I've always had teeth done wherever my horse is living at the moment.

Great to see everyone's updates and pictures!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 27, 2020 7:00 pm

OMG, poor Rudy :shock: I'm traumatized reading that. I can't imagine what that poor boy lived through!

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Thu May 28, 2020 5:11 pm

Blob, no he doesn't come out, which is fine with me, because he has everything he needs close at hand in the clinic. We used to have someone come to our clinic and spend 1/2 day or so doing all my horses plus clients' horses, but we went strictly small animal a few years ago so that doesn't happen anymore. I tried a different mobile horse vet but he no-showed without calling, then texted nasty grams when I took the horses home so he's a no-go. :lol: Btw, how is your pony doing with his muscle tenderness--any new insights?

Finally...I gathered my courage up and cantered Tio in the arena. I think it's the first time since I got thrown back in Sept 2018 so... Gotta say, the t-c transition was seamless, even if the c-t was pretty disorganized. I blame myself for that; I know i was a little tense about the cantering; I'd forgotten how big and powerful his canter is. :P

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat May 30, 2020 2:46 pm

I was out of town for work this week, and went out to see the girls about 8 last night. Tesla's pen is the first one you see when you pull in the gate, and I noticed a hay net and bucket tied to the fence, and she wasn't in her pen. I went in the barn and her stall door was wide open and the stall had been completely stripped and had fresh shavings down. I found Tesla in one piece out in a pen in the shedrow barn, so I texted the BO and asked what kind of mischief she'd gotten up to while I was gone. Apparently she had dismantled the automatic waterer and flooded her stall, hence the new shavings. But they'd had to move her because the neighbors put a few cows in their field and Miss Bold and Brave was losing her shit. I brought her out and worked with her for a bit getting closer to the cows, but she definitely wanted at least one other horse between her and the cows. So I have my fingers crossed that Tesla and Annabelle can trade stalls and I can keep my sweet situation having them together in the old broodmare barn with the big stalls and all the tackroom storage. So while I'm waiting for my new helmet and her new bridle part to be delivered, the new training goal is getting her habituated to cows!
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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun May 31, 2020 5:39 pm

here in minneapolis I have had to cut my riding short to get home before the riots start. Fun

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Re: Keep Calm and Canter On: May and June Goals and Progress

Postby mari » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:03 am

Our lockdown has eased a level, today is the first day I will see my horse in 11 weeks. I am in two minds whether to lunge or hop on and hold on :D
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert


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