Saturday, January 15, 2011

Training Log: Lesson

Today, Brett and I trailered Jackson and Flash to Riverside for lessons with our trainer.  I am really pleased with what we accomplished.  Most of the lesson was spent getting Jackson to soften, accept the contact while moving forward, and to carry himself.  He is particularly resistant/tight on the right side. 
At the start: stiff in the neck, not reaching under

We worked a lot on getting him supple and soft.  Because he has such a hard time on the right, I counter-flexed him when the right rein was the outside rein to help him release.

Gradually, it all came together.  We had our moments of resistance and I learned to not engage in "bridle wars."  He would resist, raise his head and wait for me to try to pull him back down with the reins.  That gave him permission to stop going forward.  Instead, when he popped his head up I insisted he bend with my inside leg and gave with the reins so he could still go forward. 
By the end of the lesson, I had some wonderful trot work. Jackson was carrying himself , staying round, and very light off my leg.  Once he was nice and softly round, I would ask for more forward from a light aid. 

Canter is still a work in progress.  He's very strung out and unbalanced.  Once again, I need to provide a strong, steady outside rein so he can rely on that and gain confidence.  My elbow needs to stay at my hip.  No chicken wing.  We also worked on transitioning from canter to trot with just my seat.  No rein aids allowed at all.  We cantered around a few times before he got the idea but we do love to canter so that was okay with us.

Gayle, our trainer, said he will be ready to show this summer if we continue to progress at this pace.  Whee!

Brett had a good lesson too.  Flash was looking mighty fine. And Brett, too, of course.

New brushing boots.  Christmas present from moi

We got home with just enough time to do barn chores before making dinner.  I kept it simple tonight -- that lesson was exhausting!  I made a vodka-cream sauce with pasta, salad, and we opened a bottle of Spanish red wine.  Uh, we drank most of it too.  It was a pretty silly dinner.  Camille's infectious laugh egged us on, I think.  A good day!


  1. Looking good - it's always nice to feel progress like that!

  2. Your horses are so, so beautiful!! Can you post your recipe for the Vodka-cream pasta sauce?

  3. It's really nice that you and your significant other can enjoy riding together. You both are looking good.

    Dinner sounds yummy ;)

  4. How very nice to have a training session together!
    ...and round it off with a yummy dinner and some red wine.


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