Tuesday, February 9, 2016


In a series of bullet points:

  • One of the things I was taught by Cassandra was to bump with my inside leg to keep the horse moving forward. In hindsight, I think this was due to the fact that I had so much pressure on his mouth, that kicking him was the only way to get forward movement. When I went to the first curb bit I rode him in, I loosened the reins and got him going forward. Trail was great for this because I didn't ask for much contact, just forward movement. I had to get him unstuck before I could ask for more contact. I discovered last night that it really pisses him off to bump him. He wants me to give him the cue, then just be calm and quiet with my legs. It's like he tells me "I know what you want, now back off and let me do it." I did so last night and had a wonderful canter experience.
  • I have been sliding my outside leg back and cueing with the inside leg at the same time, but Ashke said this is too much. He understands the inside cue and has no need for me to give him the outside cue unless we are turning tightly and I need to help support his haunches staying in. I stopped applying the outside cue and he was less upset at the ask.
  • I went to the barn knowing I was tired and emotionally wiped out, with no expectations. Ashke gave me a great ride and I left feeling much better. Thanks Saiph for the reminder and the encouragement. You were right about Ashke taking care of me.
  • We did w/t and I wasn't going to canter, but Ashke offered. It was a wonderful rolling canter in both directions on the proper lead. I maintained light contact with the reins, with a brief exception at the end of the arena with the jumps. Then I verbally asked him to pay attention to me and a little bit more contact, when he gave it we went back to the very light contact I was riding him with.
  • We worked over a cavaletti jump at the trot in both directions until there was no hesitation or deer leap involved. Then we raised it and jumped a couple of times in each direction. He did good. We stopped when I could feel the strain in his right haunch. Didn't want to do too much. We will add  a couple of caveletti to our next ride.
  • We worked the gate in both directions. I still need to work on helping him relax once we've moved through the gate and are preparing to back up to close the gate. He still stiffens and raises his head in anticipation. It is getting so much better though and going through the gate backwards was much better than a year ago. He no longer panics and thinks he is stuck.
  • After about 40 minutes and another brief canter set, Ashke asked if he could be done. I agreed and dismounted immediately. He had given me everything I had asked for and had tried for me through the ride. It was good to accommodate his request. He got blanketed and tucked in with second supper.
  • Bunnies, if left unsupervised in the indoor, will start to create bunny holes. This is not good.
  • Costco five minutes before close on a Monday for salad prep items is the best time to go.


  1. Sometimes horses give you just what you need right when you need it. :)

  2. Light bulb moments are amazing. I'm glad he gave his all for you and that you had a stress relieving ride. After all, in the end that is what riding is all about.