Thursday, August 14, 2014

Training: Half-halts homework

Goals: work on a better half halt and position

Process: shoulders back, core contract, knees in

What happened:

I got to the barn earlier today due to a new route I found on googlemaps. The same miles but it shaves off about half an hour from sitting in traffic! So much awesome from that!

It's a good thing too because Max had rolled and his left side had spots of dried mud. I spent a good chunk of time brushing him down to his usual shiny self. He's just so gorgeous!!

Me pwetty!

On to our training. Again with warm up at the free walk. J wants to see his head drop down more in a relaxed walk and trot so hopefully this will encourage him to bring his head down.

 The BO's hubby was busy mowing the grass around the arena. Max was wary of him but whenever I felt an inkling of tenseness I'd massage the outside reign and tap him lightly with my inside leg and he'd drop his head down again. Lovely..I like my men to be good listeners :) :)

Okay okay I hear ya

After our usual warm up circles loops we moved on to some trots and canters. I applied the half-halt tips J had given me during our lesson and it really makes such a difference - not only in the smoothness of our transitions, but in his forward movement! Yay!!

Then it was on to walk/canter transitions in a serpentine. Basically we would canter the loops and then transition to a walk on the straights. This really helps him engage his hind end, which in turn helps take weight off his front legs. He also has to change his canter leads which he is amazing at. He gets SUPER sensitive to my aids when we do this exercise too. I like asking politely and getting a polite reply. It keeps things so civilized!

We ended our ride at a relaxed trot around the arena a few times. He is starting to get the picture and would drop his head really low when I ask right. I experimented and said the word "Whoa" without using any physical aids and guess what? He made a nice gentle dead stop. *sigh* I love him  !!

And I shall I end this post with some pictures of the amazing Smartpak dressage saddle pad I bought for him to replace the lousy Tuffrider one. I love this pad so much I might get a second one down the road, maybe in a different color.Oooor in this turquoise again. Such a lovely color on him!

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