Saturday, May 12, 2012

Notes to Self

Based on Mark Rashid's book, Nature in Horsemanship

1. It's about being able to step out of our own perspective and take what horses do far less personally. Horses aren't doing anything to us, they are just being horses.

2. One of the many reasons why we love horses is that they offer us an opportunity to experience something that is less about thinking and more about reconnecting with a wisdom we don't often tap into.

3. What is seen as harmonious to the rider may not be the same thing for the horse.

4. I need to remember to focus on what I envision and less time paying attention to what the horse is doing. Instead of looking at his ears and worrying about what he might do next, I need to trust my riding ability, focus on the arena and where I want us to go.

Today was a great day. Ashke did great and I can see we are making progress. We started with leg wraps, which are designed to support the front leg tendons and to keep him from clipping himself. He was pretty funny about having them on. He tried to walk out of them, like a cat, but we didn't get that part on video.

I took him to the round pen to once again try and get him to move away from me. As you can see, the boy isn't going to lunge. He will follow me, however.

After we walked around the round pen, we went back to the barn and saddled up. I took the wraps off because I want to give him an opportunity to get used to them before riding him with them on. Tomorrow, we will turn him out into the pasture and let him graze for a bit. I will leave the wraps on during that time. If there is no issue with them then, then I will ride him with them on the next time I ride.

After he was saddled we went to the indoor arena (it's raining here.) I decided to try focusing on what I am trying to do (walk, trot, where the circle is) instead of watching him and waiting for him to do something. That worked pretty good, except when he got a bit balky. Everytime that happened, I got him going again.

I never have any issues getting on him. He will stand with no issue (knock on wood).

I think we are both getting tired of going in circles. I'm thinking that depending on how he does on Monday - Wednesday that maybe on Friday I will ride him in the arena first and then take him to the field and ride him there.

There was no bucking. However, he was pretty adamant when he was done. It didn't help that there was so much going on around him that was incredibly distracting. Toward the end, Grace brought the cadet in loaded with hay and grain. At that point, all Ashke could think about way dinner.


The indoor arena was pretty dark. J struggled to be able to get a decent picture. It has been gray and raining for two days now. There are also door at both ends of the arena, so a lot of pictures were backlit.

Still, it does make for an interesting picture.

We are going back to the thicker blanket tomorrow. The saddle keeps slipping back and I think its because of the blanket. We need to take the saddle in and get the tree adjusted, but I want to wait until Ashke is at his premium weight. Until then, the second blanket should help. I got the girth fixed today. I had the left side (facing the horse) adjusted incorrectly. I watched the video last night and made some adjustments today. I seemed to work better.

After our ride, which was mostly awesome, with a few moments of balkiness, J wanted to get a couple of pictures for our Sixth Week at the Stables. I might have to get this picture put on canvas at Costco I like it that much.

He has started nickering or whinnying when he hears me come into the barn. I'm pretty sure its because he can smell carrots.

He looks pretty darn good under saddle, eh? He is off the amplifiy and on 1.5 lbs of grain twice a day plus three flakes of hay twice a day. He is cleaning up all of the food pretty quickly and was obviously hungry when he went back in his stall tonight. I need to keep working him so the weight he gains goes to muscle and not to his belly. He still needs muscle on his haunches and his shoulders. And some across his back. His ribs are barely showing, although you can feel them when you run your hands across them. Going forward, it will be slow weight gain and more difficult to see.

Overall, I think the past six weeks have been awesome. I can't express how happy it makes me to see him getting better and stronger every day.

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