Friday, March 23, 2012

Lesson with Gayle #5

Today we trailered out for lessons with Gayle.  It was close to 70F in Riverside, very comfortable in the cool, covered arena.  Winston and I were up first.

After warming up, we picked up the trot.  We established a nice working trot and then moved on to lateral work.  We started by trotting around the arena in a loose, swinging trot and then turned onto the quarter line.  When I asked Winston to leg yield back to the rail, by using my leg slightly back from the girth and pushing his hindquarters over, he responded by speeding up and raising his head.  He still thinks of leg as "forward" and hasn't gotten comfortable with the idea of my leg also meaning yield.  So, we moved onto a 20m circle where he is used to bending around my leg.  Gayle had me spiral in until we were doing a 12m circle.  Once he was relaxed, I started pushing him back out with my inside leg.  He improved, gradually, and then we tried it again on the long side.  Then we changed direction and did it on the other side.  We spent most of my hour long lesson, at trot, spiraling in and out and doing the leg yields.  We have our homework for the next few weeks!  Overall, Gayle was pleased with the way he is already noticeably muscling out.  She said that his weight is good; he needs some more weight as we increase his work.  The weight is starting in his belly but it is moving to the rest of his body and he looks good.  He is relaxing at trot, stepping under, and getting nice swing.

Looking good after our lesson

Brett and Flash also had a good lesson.  Gayle suggested paying attention to the back soreness as it could also be an indication of hock pain.  I started thinking about how Flash, all of a sudden, was able to carry himself and get off his forehand when we started him on Adequan.  We will monitor when Flash gets sore and if it seems to be after times where he is going up and down steep hills or otherwise using his hind, we will have his hocks evaluated.  In today's lesson, they worked on trot, leg yield (from the center line - I'm jealous!) and canter.  I watched some of the lesson with Winston in tow and Flash looked uphill at the trot.  I can't remember Flash ever looking uphill -- he's not built downhill but he was forever falling on his forehand.  Not any more!  Gayle is talking about working through one of the tests at their next lesson -- a 1st level test!  I'm so proud of both of them!

Leg yielding -- look at that boy cross his legs.  Yes!!

This frame is 200% better than they've ever had.

We got back home in time to do chores, BBQ hamburgers, and collapse.  All four of us: Brett, Flash, Winston and me got our butts worked hard today.


  1. Is it strange that I get extremely excited when looking at the picture of Flash crossing his legs?
    What a clever boy!
    Winston, as usual, looks very handsome.

  2. Seems like Apache and Winston has the same "leg-means-go" syndrome occasionally. It can be frustrating because one day they will be gliding all over to leg pressure but the next it's head up, be hollow, increase tempo and we are back to spirals... but your spotty boy is looking absolutely fantastic!

  3. All of you are cookin. So how was Flash's back with the dressage saddle.
    Isn't lateral work the berries Brett?

  4. nice you can all do it together! :)

  5. Very lovely!.... I love Flash's coloring, so handsome, :) Though it would take me a while to get used to the blue eye!!

  6. That's a great feeling though - that good tired :-).

  7. What progress you 4 are making!

  8. I think Winston looks awesome. I love how short coupled he is. I've always been fond of Appaloosas (and crosses). :)

    Sounds like you both had wonderful, productive lessons. :) This makes me miss taking lessons so much! I feel so lost doing everything on my own sometimes.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.