I've concentrated heavily on ground work. Mostly exercises that "should" instill respect and leadership. While all this has been good, and we've done a lot of it...Journey I believe is still holding her union card. So I will have to think some on that. She willingly submits in the round pen, and she willingly submits in the riding arena area (which is actually just a grassy fenced enclosure), but out there, ummm...not so much. (Still safer than Phebe's best day though) We have focused so hard on working on those things that she has been working primarily at home which has reinforced her buddy sour issues again. I took her out tonight and she went, but her head was googling back at the others, and her brain was thinking on them, rather than me. The farther we got away from home the better she was. I like it that Journey is a horse that wants to pick up the trot, but even so I want her to walk at this stage, particularly on the big downhills. She'd just charge on down willy-nilly and joints be damned! The trouble doesn't start until you point back towards home, then jigging commences. So we one rein stopped every time she broke gait which was a lot! We seem to have a new training opportunity to work on as my finances have took about all the horsey clinics I can handle for awhile. I do hope to get one more time with Michaella Walker, but not sure I can again until spring. It would be nice if I could just take Journey to someone to work diligently on vertical flexion and a natural head set for about 30 days. I find I can get this at a standstill, but in motion I cannot. At least with the s-hack. The bit was attempted last night, just for fitting, and she was like I remembered: chewing, chomping, clanking, tongue thrusting. She does seem more responsive to flexion, but as "my" granny used to say "I think I'm gonna need a nervous pill!" I have always liked riding bitless as it is just easy for me to bridle up, easy to drop the hack, and easy for the horse to eat and drink. But currently it isn't exactly working towards my goal of a balanced horse either. Michaella has her own version of a bitless bridle that is different. (photo below). She used it on Journey at our last lesson and she was able to get her setting her head nicely, and backing up pretty good. She also used spurs which I would probably DIE IF I USED at this point which got her moving into the bridle at the walk. It totally transformed how the horse looks. I was dumbfounded it was so pretty and soft. The only thing I do not like about it is the set-up is leather and I don't think I can get it made in beta. That would be my primary hesitation to buy it. In the summer my horses are hosed with the bridles on with copious amounts of water which would quickly ruin the leather. So I dunno.
In the meantime we need to work on our trail riding. The weather is nice and I miss just crunch, crunch, crunching through the woods. ~ E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association