Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On Cloud Nine!

Major, major m.a.j.o.r. break through today.  I am simply giddy, on the inside.  Still haven't gotten to ride much because of this insane weather.  If you hadn't heard we had some wicked storms pass through Indiana and we definitely didn't get the worst of it where I am.  A couple towns in Southern IN got pretty much wiped off the map.  It is so very sad.  Though we didn't get hit like that the weather has still been very bi-polar.  All that to say riding is hit or miss so I wasn't sure what Steady was going to be like during our ride today.  Over all he was OK.  He only threw a few antics in here and there but something about being on that horses back is a very secure place for me.  Even with all of his hot, wild moments for what ever reason I feel so secure on him.  I planned for our ride to keep it mostly walk with a few trot sets thrown in but when he kept insisting on breaking into a canter and the canter was collected and smooth I figured I would just go with it.  Ohh I love his canter.  I kept it short though cause the boy is outta shape.  All that was fine and dandy but now lets get to the reeeeeally good part. 

I am not sure if I expressed on here enough how frustrating it has been for me that I have never been able to get Steady to stretch down at any gait.  I think I have mentioned it on more than one occasion.  It was also the entire purpose of the last lesson I took.  And during the lesson though I was completely capable of getting the lesson horse to stretch down I didn't really know how to translate that into getting my hot OTTB to do it, while riding in an open field(remember I have no arena).  Well I could not be more elated to announce that I got Steady Smiler to STRETCH DOWN!!  Not just once but over and over and over again.  For about 20 minutes I concentrated on going different directions, collecting then releasing and over and over I was able to get him to do it.  Once he finally figured out that I wanted him to do it he was loving it!!!  Some stretches had his nose to the ground.  Each time I asked and he did it I got higher and higher on cloud nine.  This has been our biggest down fall in dressage tests.  A big down fall and a collective to boot and we got it!  It isn't perfect and he tilts his head half the time and that should be corrected and I know can be with work.  He over all has a head tilting problem when he is out of shape and out of practice so I think it will work it self out like it has in the past.  He did it!  He did it!!  He did it and he liked it!  He did it and it wasn't just a fluke I made sure of that.  WE did it and though without the training I have recieved I wouldn't have been able to do this on our own I did accoplish this without someone standing there helping me every step of the way.  I DID IT!  I am on cloud nine and I like it up here!

11 comments:

  1. AWESOME!! Go Steady and GO YOU! What a satisfying feeling (both the actual stretch and the success of getting it). Bring it on, collective marks ;)

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  2. I am so excited for you! This is my very favourite thing to ride on a horse while schooling -- it means they have truly been using their back and just the feeling of their back opening and stretching and the change in the trot as it happens, it feels as if you are riding a sigh of release and trust.

    Both Solo and Encore LOVED the stretch as soon as they discovered it, I try to achieve it as quickly as possible because it can really be a brain calmer too!

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  3. Yay Steady!! Hamps loves to stretch and once they figure it out, it just gets better! Woot!

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  4. Most excellent...we are working on stretching too :)

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  5. Yes, that's so exciting!!! Congrats on the breakthrough!

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  6. Thanks everyone! This is a huge step for us! I think I am most excited that I FINALLY have a real tool to get his back/topline stonger. There are so many benefits of this exercise and I am so excited about it. Though it did take us 2 years to get it which is kinda sad but we finally have it! The funniest part is that he loved it so much even after I was off his back and walking him back to the barn he kept stretching down as I was walking him...lol. Do you think he thought that felt good or what!

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  7. yeah!!!! Come teach Rosie!

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  8. That's really exciting! We haven't gotten quite that far with Midas and the kids yet...

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  9. Woo Hoo!!! Go Steady :) I know how hard you have worked for this...I have watched Lex work towards this when she had Henny and before that on Cheers. I think that once those OTTB's figure it out - you have won the race.

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  10. Took him on a trail ride today but afterwards I took and worked on the stretching again and no problemo got it right off the bat at the walk. Then my real goal was to see if I could get him to stretch at the trot and I did!! Yay!

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  11. That is so fantastic!! This is the best post I've read in a while. :D I'm so happy for you and Steady. Perseverance (and lessons) pay off! Keep up the awesome work!

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