Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Riding Diary - 50

Time: 2 hr


50 LESSONS! How crazy. Life sure was different 50 lessons ago..

Jingle and I are back in lessons after our two week "slow-down" intensive, and my trainer being out of town. I spoke with my trainer beforehand about slowing things down with Jingle and focusing more on slow, technical work than the faster stuff we've been doing, and she agreed we can definitely do that.

So, Jingle and I jogged A LOT. haha I was really impressed with his cadence, and balance at the jog. He's really starting to listen to me and transition nicely through walk-jog-stop, and back down. If he speeds up I can just rock back my seat and he'll take the cue now. Whereas previously he would have just rushed off at a change in my seat.

We started to work on two-tracking and Jingle was doing awesome! He really responds to my lateral cues through my legs, he always has (when he's not have a pissy meltdown) and my trainer was impressed with how well he was moving off of my leg. My only issues were getting him to really pick it up and two track, especially when we were tracking to the left - that's when he'd try to slow down and deek into a walk. There was a standard set up that I'd have to pass to get back onto the rail, so I used that as a judge to help me with rate and speed.

After some of that, and more jogging, my trainer set up a keyhole in the arena with chalk to practice our rollbacks using something other than the wall as a crutch. Well, my Chicken Little was definitely afraid of the chalk key-hole, he told me afterwards he was sure it was arsenic and that he was just trying to protect us. Sure Jingle, whatever you say. He was blowing and snorting and side-stepping his way out of it.. what a goof. So, we took it down to a walk and I slowly edged him in. Our rollbacks definitely need some work, without the aid of the wall I get a little too short with him, I need to really open up whichever arm and rein i'm leading with and work on getting him a bit snappier. In the keyhole he was deciding that it would be fun just to stop and then do a small circle... that's not the point Jingle!

After that, and more jogging, my trainer set up some AQHA trail type exercises for Jingle and I to work on. First she set up a box and we practiced walking slowly (something that Jingle sometimes has troubles with) in, and doing 360's, then standing, waiting patiently, walking out - doing that again. Then she set up a wider then regulation "L" for us to walk through, back up, etc. Jingle did really well, didn't less his pissy-side overcome his thinking side (and truly, that's all i'm looking for lately, the fact that he is now starting to understand and think through his problems is making me a pretty proud mama!)

So, overall, REALLY good lesson. Walked away with some ways to make that technical stuff a little more interesting and diverse for him. I think i'm going to look more into AQHA trail and get some more pole-type exercises for us to work on.

For Next Time: Rooooooooooollbacks. (I have that walmart song stuck in my head)


  1. Sounds like a good plan slow down cause fast was not working. I actually do way more work at the trot than I ever lope, seems to get them fst horses thinking while still allowing them to move thier feet.

  2. Hi,
    New to your blog, but sounds like you and I are working on much the same thing. I would like to do some trail classes too if I can just get past that stupid "rope gate"
    Look forward to perusing your archives when I get a minute.

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for checking out my blog! I'll be sure to take a look at yours as well. Funny you should mention gates - I started working on gates with jingle on Monday (ill probably blog about it later today) we have an actual free standing swinging metal gate so I don't know if that makes it easier than the rope gate but rest assured it wasn't easy for us either! Baby steps! I'm excited to check out your progress and perhaps share tips ;)