Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lesson with Katy: 7

The good thing for me about Katy riding Winston one day during the week, is that she understands what he can, can't and would rather not try to do.  The bad thing for Winston is that she has his number.

The first observation that Katy made is that Winston is braced in his back and braced against the bit.  She suggested a long warm up with lots of bending; circles and serpentines at walk until he releases his back and poll.  Limber has never been my middle name so I understand and empathize with Winston.

While we were doing our long (boring to watch) warm up, Brett took pictures of things that fell out of the trees in the high winds last week.

He wrote love letters in the sand.

He took pictures of the trees.

Finally, we were done with our warm up.  The other observation Katy made is that if Winston doesn't want to do something, he can be belligerent.  I laughed and told her that when I bought Winston, his trainer told me to never get in a fight with Winston; that I wouldn't win.  Katy said she didn't push anything with Winston, she patiently kept asking until he gave it to her.  The ask wasn't hard; she wanted Winston to bend around her leg.  She told me he tried a few bucks and a half-way rear.  Katy is a strong rider and she just sent him forward.

My thought is, better her riding this stuff out than me.  I'm tired of coming off.  She did make the observation that it is good Winston is young so we can nip this disobedience in the bud.  If he were twelve and bucking and rearing, he would be a dangerous horse.  As it is, he's a pushy, naughty six-year-old and he will out grow the behavior. Winston is an honest horse, he tries to get it right, and he works hard.  When I felt his brain start to go on overload, we took a lap around the arena in a nice relaxed trot.

 Then we went back to work.

We continued to work on getting Winston to bend around my leg.  We worked on my position while asking for him to step under and around: chin up, shoulders back and turned toward the inside of the circle, inside shoulder over his hip to influence that inside hind leg, elbows bent and elastic, hands above the withers, seat bone weighted, inside calf and thigh pressing in, outside toe pointing toward the shoulder so he doesn't fall to the outside through that shoulder.  My brain is almost as tired as my legs.

After my lesson, Brett finished wrapping the pipes in the barn.  We had very thick frost last night.  A new water line was installed from the hot water heater (above the tack room, next to the wash rack) over the stall we use as a feed room, around the corner past the storage closets and down the wall... to the washing machine.  We ended up with two washing machines when we moved into the house; the one we brought from Aspen Meadows and the one already in this house.  We moved the washer from the house into the barn.  Now we can wash barn rags and horse pads there.


  1. Hard work and very productive. A good warm up routine can make all the difference, and mental/physical breaks, too.

    How lovely to have a separate washer for horse stuff.

  2. It's nice that you are documenting your lessons with Katy. You will be able to look back at all the cues and progress. Hey Brett! Forever working.

  3. Some horses need a l-o-o-o-t of walk before they're ready to work, others need a short walk/trot/canter... they're all different, it's just a matter of figuring out what works for which horse.
    Winston is looking very lovely :) and I like how much you smile when you ride him!


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