Monday, August 6, 2007

More on Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse Part 3

The Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse series begins with the original post. Yesterday's post is the beginning of current happenings in the series is More on Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

Once we had accomplished Rachel being able to move the horse laterally off her leg. I sent Rachel and the horse riding into the corner. I put myself at a point diagonal from the corner and told her I wanted her to walk a figure eight within the confines established between me and the corner. As the Arabian horse would approach the barrier in the corner established by the wall, the horse would compress himself to avoid hitting the wall. This "forced" him into a collected frame (if only for an instant). The same effect happened when they approached my position. My body acted as a barrier to enforce a degree of collection.

Given the additional support, that left Rachel with the center part of the figure eight to get and keep her horse together. Throughout this exercise, I gave her direction on the corrections necessary to keep him square underneath her. I also let her know when she had it right and the horse was square underneath her.

Once she had an idea of how to do the exercise at the walk, I moved her on to the jog. The jog is actually a little easier for the horse to accomplish this degree of collection but because it is a little faster than the walk, everything happens quicker making it more difficult for the rider. The cues can be missed allowing the horse drop a shoulder or a hip, sometimes even both to hollow out it's back and get long.

My goal with these exercises was to get Rachel riding in a collected manner and the horse used to Rachel doing so. Once the horse gets it into his brain that Rachel putting a leg onto him means he is to round up, instead of just move, half the battle will be won. The other half will come from Rachel learning what the feel of that collection is. The more times she rides it, the easier it will be to identify the correct feel. Then when her horse steps out of it, she will know to ask him to step back into it.

To be continued..........

Part 5

I want to add here that I would NOT do this exercise with a young green horse. Small circles such as this would be too stressful on young, unstrengthened tendons and ligaments.

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  1. I love your photos and the read is a bonus.

    I published some of my computer generated art from a long time ago today on my blog. Brookville Daily Photo

  2. Another great entry! Can't wait to read more!!

  3. I never had any idea how complicated this is! I've watched lots of horse shows and now I'm realizing how much was going on that I completely missed.