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Notes

February 22, 2018

Note Type: Training

Rider: Poppy

Comments:

Smoochy was so good yesterday. No lunge was required. Smooch maintained a consistent trot pace while working through grids of poles and jumps. Smooch cantered on both leads balanced without attempting to swap leads or roaching his back. The pessoa rig is making a big difference. Happy ride minus the chain saw 🙂 we had to go back to the barn north towards the road.


February 22, 2018

Note Type: Training

Rider: Poppy

Comments:

Concentrated on the rhythm, and on the quality of the throughness of transitions. Both of leads relaxed. Shoulder in can be a great tool here, as it forces him to work a bit more physically, (which can give them something to concentrate on). Circles and figures helped here. I focused on getting a really good quality bend… bending right, then bending left, then right, then left with a quiet transition from trot to canter/canter to trot.

Good ride.


February 15, 2018

Note Type: Training

Rider: McNair, Jenna

Comments:

Just a short update for the last few times I’ve lunged smooch. He is so much fun to work with on the ground! He is very honest to every pole exercise I put in front of him – even if he doesn’t know where to put his feet, he still tries very hard.

We have been doing lots of pole exercises to help him find his balance and figure out what his feet are supposed to be doing. Canter bounces on a circle, trot sets alternating the ends of poles off the ground. Poles on the circle encourage him to lift up his inside shoulder and balance to the outside, not falling in. Long trot sets encourage him to stretch long and low through his back, while canter bounces help him to reach under with his haunches and lift his shoulder up. I’m not incredibly careful about setting the poles exactly evenly; depending on the day, they may be shorter, longer, or some short and long – I want him figuring out how to adjust his body and step as well as learning to pay attention.

He is very brave! Even when he knocks a pole over, he doesn’t get scared but goes right back to work. I have definitely seen an improvement in the last few weeks in how he is thinking about using his body, and he is also doing a good job of adjusting his own stride length and track to arrive on the correct step for the poles. As he continues to thhinknand learn more, he will be able to start transferring the work on the lunge to under saddle with a rider.


February 15, 2018

Note Type: Training

Rider: Mandy

Comments:

This is a test to show what owners see.


February 13, 2018

Note Type: Training

Rider: McNair, Jenna

Comments:

Little was very respectful on the lunge line. After we warmed up, we did some poke exercises, including a cavaletti bounce. While very naturally balanced, he does not know how to stretch through and lift up his back and shoulders yet; he balances by lifting his head, which makes him strengthen the wrong muscles and does not help him when you get into problems while jumping. I would suggest talking with Poppy and myself to come up with a lunging/riding plan to help him learn this. On the lunge, I would suggest long trot pole sets, set slightly long to encourage stretch and lift, first on a straightaway then when he confidently stretches through that, moving to a circle. At the canter, bounces will encourage him to rock back and use his haunches but won’t help with encouraging long and low. Alternating a pole on the ground with a half pole up will help him lift through his haunches, back, and shoulders more and encourage him to stretch through his neck.
Supervised, a weekly lunge in side reins, the Pessoa rig, or Chambone could also be beneficial, followed by pole work later in the week on the lunge without any gadgets.

Ground driving can be useful for introducing him to lateral moves, which will again help him learn to use his haunches, back, and shoulders better.

I did notice that when faced with a new question, his first response is to completely back off and refuse; after he slowly checks everything out and does it at a slower pace, he then is completely fine. Let me know if you want help coming up with some exercises to think his way through a problem and encourage him to be a little more brave! He’s super fun to play with and such a good boy.