Today was the Tarrin Warren clinic. We rode for almost two hours, working mostly on grids and getting the horses to keep their haunches under them when turning. It was very different from how I've been riding Ashke and he was a bit confused with the style. I liked how the grid helped set you up to work the obstacle correctly and we worked the grid without working the pattern. Just like you really can't ride a test over and over without the horse learning the pattern, that concept needs to be applied to the obstacles as well. Amanda had me riding 10m circles in random directions, and Tarrin had us riding the poles in random order, doing three left turns, then three right turns, so the horse had to listen to your leg and seat rather than predicting where you were going next. T
he other exercise we did which was really interesting was to ride in a 15m circle at the trot and drop your right rein. See, people are right handed and horses are predominately left handed. And we have a tendency to hang on the inside rein. I, personally, use the right rein regardless of the direction we are going. It's a gift. To the left, Ashke was really soft and I was able to completely drop the right rein and still keep him moving to the left with great bend. In fact, Ashke stepped up to the softest canter, ever, while I laughed in delight. The other direction was not so pretty. He still relies on me a lot to help him maintain the bend in that direction, otherwise he begins to counter bend. This would be our achilles heel. It will be a good exercise to add to my indoor rides and I expect I could talk Amanda into using it in our lessons.
I feel like Ashke was confused by the lack of the constant contact we've been working on.
I think it made him nervous.
This was the outside rein exercise that was so challenging to us.
We definitely need to work to our right.
Thankfully, it was all walk and trot so Ashke wasn't overly exhausted before our show tomorrow. I know I'm going to have to ride a bunch of obstacles one handed but I won't have to deal with a tired pony. We went home and gave him a bath, then dressed him in his BOT mesh sheet with a full bale of shavings in his stall to try and keep him from laying down in his pee tonight. I plan to be at the show by 7:30 tomorrow so that J, T and CJ will be there in time to volunteer. I still need to braid his mane before we show.