Saturday, February 1, 2014


Sorry that I missed the scheduled weekly post, but better late than never.  Here's what we've been up to in the last week or so

Lesson on the 23rd:

I had a groundwork lesson with my awesome trainer, and we worked towards moving Jazz's feet meaningfully and with respect.  There's not much really to tell.  I really like my instructor because she has some different exercises than anyone else I've worked with, and she has a way of being really positive about issues.  She won't criticize what I've been doing so far, she just suggests a way to do things better or fix issues very nicely.

I spent most of last weekend at a friend's farm.  They don't have indoor facilities, so all their horses get the winter off to eat hay and try to keep warm.  I helped them with chores and went to see their other herd at their far pasture.  They raise Curly horses and warmbloods, so pretty much all their horses look like giants compared to all the quarter horses and weanlings I'm used to seeing at my boarding facility and the horse rescue.  Some of us also went to watch some friends in a hunter schooling show, which was fun since I knew absolutely nothing about hunter jumper.

I also made a trip to the rescue with C and it was just us and the owner.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and the owner let us help her with halterbreaking some of their 12 weanlings (all of whom are so cute I could just take them all home with me, but of course I probably shouldn't on account of how I've been dealing a lot lately with what happens about four years after that).   It was a really nice, restful, horse filled weekend.

Lesson on the 29th:

Jazz was all sass and energy when I brought her in for another groundwork lesson this Wednesday.  I have never seen her so utterly unwilling to stand still.  It wasn't altogether too dissimilar to her fidgety, charge-y behavior lately, but with more prancing and angry tail swishing.  At the beginning of the lesson, my trainer lunged some of the crazy out of her and tried to get her to use her brain.

I regretfully could not find photo credits for this photo so hopefully it's okay to use, but this is pretty much what Jazz looked like for the first five minutes
Then she showed me what she was doing and passed her over to me.  It was so helpful because I've never known any good, safe ways to get her feet moving when she's so sassy like that, and regular lunging isn't really much of an option when she's so wound up.  She had me doing a quick correction that kept her moving and kept me in a good position, and at one point Jazz turned to me and tried to go the other way, but I just got back into position and got her moving forwards again no problem.  Once she had quieted some and started thinking, I worked on a backing exercise which involves standing in front of Jazz with hands up at around shoulder height to keep both her eyes and moving her back and forward in a sort of yo-yo fashion.  Once that was going well, we started working on moving Jazz's shoulders, which is really tough for her and one of her worst sticky spots.  She was sort of getting it, she was charging forward quite a bit, which isn't all that surprising, but we did get a couple of true steps in either direction.  I also learned a new way to do shoulder yields which is much easier than the way I had been previously taught, which required a lot of specificity. I never really grasped the old way, so I had never really worked on it much.  

There has been a bit of a change in my trainer's schedule, so I have switched my lessons to Sundays for February, so I will hopefully have an update very soon about my next lesson.  

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