Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Winston and Mufasa make Progress

...and so do Brett and I.  Gayle came up this morning to give us lessons.  The early morning was foggy and cold but by the time Gayle arrived, just before 9:00, the sun seemed to be winning the battle.  The fog never completely burned off, it just retreated to haze and by noon we were back to fog.  It stayed cold and wet outside for the remainder of the day and we may get some thundershowers tonight.

Winston and I were up first.  At my last lesson we worked on getting bend in the corners, keeping the forward and getting Winston's hind inside leg to really reach on a 10m circle, and we introduced leg yield.  Winston and I have been doing our homework so we were able to kick it up a notch.
Warm up on a long rein; working on getting a marching relaxed walk.
Winston had to focus on keeping forward and responsive to my leg, reaching over his back, moving in a supple way, and keeping steady contact with the bit.

I had to keep my elbows bent, but relaxed, at my side; carry my forearms; keep my hands above his withers and close together; shoulders back; and look up and around the circle.  In general, I can keep track of three things.  This was way more than three and I was huffing and puffing keeping the forward supple energy going with Winston while leg yielding on a circle.

Gayle had us spiral into a very small, tight circle around her without losing energy.

Then we had to spiral back out by leg yielding.  We were to gradually make the circle bigger by stepping sideways and forward, staying bent, and reaching under.  We had a tendency to go straight sideways but we had a couple good gradual circles by the end.  And then I was toast.

Doing pretty well here

Going sideways without bend through Winston's body. 
Brett wasn't sure how his lesson was going to go.  He tweaked his bad knee at work yesterday and this morning was having trouble walking without significant pain.  He loaded up on Aleve and got Mufasa ready.

When Brett first got Mufasa he (Mufasa) didn't understand contact on his mouth and he was very unbalanced.  Brett has been working on taking a light contact and Mufasa is accepting that.  The balance is getting better but Mufasa tends to fall in on a circle.  Gayle worked with getting Brett more evenly balanced (he was favoring the leg with the bad knee so he didn't have equal weight on both sides) and that helped tremendously.

They worked on keeping an even tempo.  Mufasa can move forward at a nice clip but when he is unsure or feels unbalanced, he tries to stop.  Right now, there is a lot of trust and confidence building that they are doing together.  They take care of each other and the bond is developing.

Once Mufasa had a balanced trot on a 20m circle, Gayle had them doing serpentines.  They finished up with some canter work.  It was the very best canter we have seen from Brett's big red dun.  In the video below you can see the trot work, the serpentine and a bit of canter.  It's a short video but it gives you an idea of how they are moving together.


  1. Winston and Mufasa both look SUPER fancy!

  2. Way to go, both of you! Great photos and I see such improvement in Brett's video...sorry about his knee. You are going to miss this during the week, but your new job is going to keep you very busy. Hope you find a house soon.

  3. I can't believe how Winston's topline has developed! You must be so proud of yourself!
    Brett and Mufasa look really good together, you can see Mufasa is beginning to think about working down into the contact... great work!

  4. Everyone looks great! Hope Brett's knee feels better soon . . .

  5. So proud of all 4 of you. Isn't it amazing how those horses read such small bits of our body language and I laughed at your 3 things. That was my most difficult issue when I was learning to ride, too many things to remember! :)

  6. what terrific progress for Brett and Mufasa. Your photos look good too! We need a vid of you & Winston.


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