Saturday, 17 December 2011

Ok, so during our blogging hiatus, quite a bit has happened with Allie's schooling. While I haven't ridden much (rain, rain, rain),  I have had a couple of lessons with Linda, and something has just clicked. If you remember my last riding videos, everything was a bit loose, very messy. She was blowing through my outside rein and falling out through the shoulder. If there wasn't a wall there, I couldn't turn her without this happening. I tried using a low, firm inside hand to turn her. This does not work people! She was also rushing, a lot and I encouraged it. Whoops.

So, what changed? My outside rein became a wall. A wall that I pushed her shoulder over with. This was a VERY HARD concept for me to grasp. How can I turn my horse to the right by taking a (firm!) contact with the left rein? I didn't get it, but I trusted Linda and it started working and now I got it. I can move that mare's shoulders wherever I want to. Whenever I want. That first lesson though, Allie and I had major words. A bit of tough love from me, firmer contact, and no more grey areas. We are doing this NOW! Not in two or three strides, not when you feel good and ready, now. Face please... No? FACE NOW! Ok, good girl. Now turn... TURN NOW! Good girl.... You get the idea.

I am SO unfit. During the first lesson, Linda asked if it was Allie huffing and puffing so loud but it was ME! Oh dear...

We also changed her bridle set up a little bit. I didn't want to put a flash nose band on her. I believe that your horse opens her mouth because your hands are not light and it is painful. But Linda asked me to try it, and to be honest, Allie has been much happier with it. It is like she has one less option to try before she gets the right one. She hasn't reared since I put it on her. I don't fight with her for her mouth anymore.She just gives, and is actually reaching out for a firmer contact now. So the flash stays for now. This one is a hard one for me to swallow, but the proof is in the pudding, isn't it?

So a few photos from a ride the other day. She is more 'there' in the bridle for me. Reaching for contact, instead of sucking back all the time.

I have another lesson with Linda tomorrow at the local indoor. I'm pretty excited to see how we go!

On another note, Allie is blooming with health (finally) and they are both looking super-duper cute.

Check out those dapples!

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