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Square Corners

March 16, 2016

We had an opportunity to work on square corners.  They are looking much better, at the walk anyway.  The trot still needs more work, when it comes to listening to my cues, especially trying to do this with 4 other people in the arena.  (I spend all my time looking where I'm going or asking Aslan to move forward if someone passes us (he likes to stop).  I just need a big ass field.)  The good news is that when we are doing a circle and meet someone at X doing a circle in the opposite direction, he doesn't spazz like he did the first time.  It was almost like he thought they were going to cut us off or crash or they were coming after him.  He really spun around.  Not cool.  He still needs to work on horses getting very close to him.  Someone passing us on a straight wall gives him the willies.  And God forbid they are behind us, his trot becomes really fun lol Weeeeee speed demon!  These are all things people take for granted on their well-trained horses.  

 

Square corners:  He is starting to listen to seat and leg, so I really only use my reins to hold his head forward.  He seems to be able to tell the difference between leg yield and turn, simply because the seat position is different.  I turn my hips toward the direction of the turn and put leg on, vs, leaning slightly sideways and putting leg on.  At least, I hope he gets it.  He still needs to practice this a few thousand more times. 

 

Contact: I lament how strong the contact is.  I feel like I'm holding pounds instead of ounces.  My dressage trainer laughed and said this was normal, but I've ridden a couple of horses where the contact was so much lighter!! Anyway, I sat at the stand still and asked him to lighten with the contact a bit.  He tries.  Unfortunately, it all goes away when we move forward.  And too heavy of a contact means he will try to slow down.  

 

Nose toss: Now when he puts his nose up in the air to the left, I make sure to do a couple sharp half halt bumps with the right rein, so he won't lean on it.  Same with straightening his head or flexing to the right.  He knows how to flex to the right quite well, so resisting my gentle half halts or a gentle pull earns him a sharper bump.  This appears to be the fallout of taking contact. But the new bit is on the way.  I don't really like having to do this, but I don't want him to think that it is ok to evade or ignore either.  I may have to take a step back and actually +R contact, which I never did.  I just took it up one day.  My dumb. 

 

Steering: I did let him walk on a loose rein to ensure he doesn't forget how to do it.  The good news is that he is much straighter walking on a line, but he still tries to gawk or follow another horse.  Steering with the legs is pretty cool, he responds much better to that now.  I only need to remind him occasionally, not to ignore the leg.   I tried playing a game where I could feel he was going to veer right so I would ask for left, and vice versa.  He seemed to do ok!

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