Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sister learns to leg yield - sometimes

Spring flowers are coming up everywhere but it still feels a bit chilly today.  We have 6 or 8 kinds of daffodils as well as grape hyacinths, lily-of-the-valley, forsythia and a plum tree in bloom.  A week ago we were under snow.

Sat. morning the girls and I took Pico, Sunny, and Splash to Patty's for the party lesson (me/Splash, Kathy/Call, and Christina/Jetter), lunch, and the girls' lesson.  The wind was howling with 40ish mph gusts so the covered arena was rather musical.  Splash and Jetter handled the noise fairly well as did Call after a pretty energetic lounging session.  After the usual warm-up exercises, we worked on leg yields to weave the cones.  Believe it or not, Splash was moving out fairly well (perhaps all the wind noise bothered him a little).  During canter work, we focused on changing the bend from outside to inside without loosing the canter.   Not to bad and we had fun without falling off.
After lunch, the girls started their lesson in the outdoor arena (Pico is not good with arena/wind noise).  Alaina and Sunny were fairly successful with "slow" but not so much with give to the bit. Ivy and Pico had some lovely movement and transitions but, also, not so much give to the bit.  Hmmmmm.

While the girls were riding, I brushed and saddled Sister, then, lounged her with the German neck stretcher and a stretchy lounge line attached through the bit to the girth. This configuration really helped Sister work on inside bend while lounging and she worked fairly well in both directions.

Sister thinks that her sides are a no-touch zone.  So, Patty has been working on leg yield, leg yield, let yield.  Sister is getting the picture.  And, Patty says she has not followed through with her threats to cow-kick or buck.  So...

Gathering courage in both hands, I decided to try and ride Sister a bit.  I used my dressage saddle and a western snaffle bit.  I was worrying about to much leg (with the dressage saddle rather than a western saddle) and about bit pressure. 

After removing the lounging gear, I mounted uneventfully.  Then moved off at a walk.  We walked around without any problem and then I tried a little trot.  Sister MOVED OUT!  I panicked and stopped.  Patty and I discussed the seat/leg pressure needed when riding a horse that MOVES versus a horse who's mission to STAND STILL.  We tried again, and little by little, I relaxed and Sister responded better.  We joined Ivy and Alaina and did a little arena work.  I leg yeilded into corners and circled when we went to fast.  We finished with a bit of backing.

I didn't FALL OFF.  YAYA!

The St. Jude Trail ride schedule for Sunday afternoon was postponed because trailer parking was to muddy.  But, it was cold and cloudy most of the day and the wind was out of the north.  Late afternoon the sun came out and the girls played in the arena with Pico and Diez.  Poor Pico has a little rain-rot on his front pastern and he broke it open on a little jump - we will keep an eye and medicine on it and try to keep him de-mudded enough to clear it up.

Rumor has it that the YaYa's will ride again at Rita's on Thursday afternoon.  I will try to escape work and join in.  I can hardly wait!

YaYa!  Yeah!

1 comment:

  1. My current rain-rot treatment is a mixture of A&D ointment and triple antibiotic cream. Really does the trick on relatively small spots. For larger areas (when things are warm enough) is bath with 1 cup of white vinegar and a couple of T of iodine in the normal bath soap/water mixture.