Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Last Gymkhana

Tonight was Christensen Stables final Gymkhana of the summer. This is the second one that Ashke and I have participated in and I can't wait for next year's. It was a lot of fun, even if there were only five of us competing.

I thought Ashke did great and there were parts that he seemed to really enjoy. I could have ridden him better, but it is a process and I am still developing muscle that I seem to have misplaced some time ago. Believe it or not, riding uses muscles you don't use for anything else.

This was the first class, Western Pleasure Walk-Trot. It was a nice way to start the class and the Gymkhana. 

This was the beginning of the Western Pleasure class. It included walk, trot and canter, plus a turn at the trot. Two of the riders didn't participate because they are Chris' students and one does canter at all and the other hadn't worked the horse she was riding in the outdoor arena.

I was very pleased that he took the correct lead at the canter. It is something I am going to continue to work with him on. I asked Grace how he looked and she thinks he is still shuffling his feet at times. I wonder if that is a shoulder/back strength thing that will get better as he continues to gain conditioning.

This was the Western Reining class. We didn't pick up the canter quick enough when asked and it was in the wrong lead. But I can't complain. I am going to work on the cues to get the canter correct, so that we can look at learning a flying lead change. The last video will show you why the flying lead is going to be important.

This is the English Riding Pattern and we didn't post. Ashke did really well in this pattern and seemed to understand the cones meant something was changing. I'm rocked by how damn smart this horse is . . . It was also better since the canter was to the left and that is his favorite lead.

The barrels were fun, but he's never going to be a barrel horse. QH have the quick pop of speed that makes them ideal for this event and Ashke is missing that. It was still fun though and good practice at getting him to listen to me and allow me to set and guide both his pace and his direction. 

Here is where we rocked and where being able to do a flying lead change would make all the difference in the world. Ashke has a nifty little turn and we have worked the poles a lot for bending around the point and listening to the neck rein. Usually we just weave through as an aid to teach Ashke to give to leg pressure and to begin to understand the neck reining process. 

Afterwards, his legs were rinsed with cold water, he was bathed and then I used Absorbine Horse liniment on his back, croup area, and all four legs from the shoulder down. 

Friday night marks the start of a four day weekend where I can ride during the day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Yippee!

1 comment:

  1. Western Pleasure and riding in a Gymkhana!? (this is some usage of the word I wasn't previously aware of...) The gymkhana's I'm used to were all "game" classes, like the barrels, poles, bareback on a dollar.

    I think you might have some difficulty convincing Ashke to do a flying lead change. He was able to come close to the poles on the wrong lead--he won't see the need. The horse I had that did the best flying changes, needed to be on the correct lead in order to keep his balance. The barrel pattern is a good place to practice a flying lead change--from barrel 1 to barrel 2. I would also work the pattern in reverse to get Ashke more comfortable on that right lead.


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