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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Henry Lesson #2



Henry and I had lesson number 2 on Saturday afternoon.  We have worked hard on our forward button while ST was away for the last two weeks.  Unfortunately life got pretty busy last week, so he ended up having 5 days off. 







He's not a hot horse but it's not my ideal plan of attack to have a lesson on any horse (particularly a baby horse) after that many days off.  Ugh!   I confessed my sin to ST and we prepared to give him a little more time to get back into the groove.





But he was a complete rock star!!!





He remembered all of our practice and was much more steerable.  We did half of our lesson inside and moved onto the front lawn to trot over some poles. 





ST gave me lots of compliments about Henry.  She seems really impressed by how sensible he is under saddle for such a green/young guy.  He tries so hard!  That weird little horse has the biggest heart.





I find that I get really tired and sweaty riding Henry.  He is more of a push ride and I feel it in my legs the next day for sure.  Does anyone have any tips or exercises for improving my fitness for this type of horse?  I am running again, so my cardio is getting better.  My legs are just not used to having to do much as Apollo and Mystic are both quite forward (so my legs are on but not squeezing/kicking ever).  Henry also has kind of a huge bouncy trot and it takes a lot more muscle control to stay with the movement and not flop around.  I really feel my lacking fitness when I ride him. 




Well deserved post-lesson snack :)







Our homework is to trot poles and expect accuracy (pick the exact spot I want to cross over it and make it happen).  I need to buy a different dressage whip too, as the one I have is too long and is awkward to hold.  ST has been very complimentary of my position but she does want me to carry my hands a bit more (I end up doing weird things with wrists carrying the dressage whip) and I need to watch my rein length.  I think because Henry isn’t super forward I give him lots of rein to move into…but that doesn’t really help our steering. 






Hanging saddle pads to dry in the bathroom #equestrianprobs







One of my favorite things that ST has mentioned a few times is to ride him like he’s broke.  I shouldn’t accept less than I asked for because he’s a baby, particularly in the forward department.  He needs to learn that it’s his job to go forward.  I am totally guilty of being like “oh well this is a nice slow speed… I’ll take it”, when he’s crawling along and not tracking up… because don’t want to push too hard and have an explosion because he’s a baby.  But I don’t really think he’ll explode.  And even if he does, we need to have that conversation.



I hope next Saturday that ST will take a bit of video of us! :)






23 comments:

  1. Twopointober is coming up...you could start early and get some super strong legs :) So happy for you that Henry is going so well!

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    1. Oh yeah! I bet twopointober will help out me out a lot haha :)

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  2. Yoga! But not the meditative kind. I forget the fancy name right now.

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    1. That's a good idea, would probably help with my core strength! :)

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  3. It sounds like a good lesson. I don't think that you need stronger legs- I think that Henry needs to learn to go off the lightest of aids. that's the whole ask-demand-tell scenario and he'll figure it out.
    However, lots of core work will help you ride his trot as it's not the legs that keep you there.
    Also, I have to say that he's very adorable.

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    1. My legs are very weak, so they do need to improve slightly too hahah but yes I agree, Henry need to respond to lighter aids for sure! He is very adorable, I can't stay mad at him :)

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  4. I agree that you don't need stronger legs. He will learn to go from light cues. But in the meantime why don't you try riding the other horses with no stirrups at a sitting and listing trot.

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    1. I can definitely incorporate that with Mystic and Apollo, no stirrups always helps :)

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  5. I'm so happy you two are doing well! Don't worry too much about him being a push ride--that's pretty common in a greenie! Just don't get caught in using more and more leg though or he will just develop dull. If you use phases and ask soft for a couple seconds and he doesn't react, then a bit more, then more, followed by crop as last phase if you need to go that far with immediate pressure off when he reacts, he will start to pick up on it. By always beginning at the lightest phase, you can eventually install lightness on a seemingly dull horse.

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    1. That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid (the dullness)! I will keep your advice in mind, thank you! :)

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  6. My only suggestion is the dreaded no stirrup work. And just keep on keeping on with him, the strength will come. Also, he'll learn to carry himself more as he gets stronger too!
    I like that statement from your trainer, "ride him like he's broke". I've been telling myself that recently when riding Romey because I tend to be afraid to push his buttons. He'll never learn if I never push them!
    Henry really sounds like he's coming along fabulously! I'm so impressed that he was such a rockstar after so much time off! Maybe he can teach my horses a thing or two...

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    1. It's sounds like that's in the cards for my weakling legs haha! I've been trying really hard to treat him like a grown up horse...it's hard when you've had them since were a tiny peanut...but I'm working on it! Henry is kind of a lazier type so having time off doesn't seem to do much to him (but it's not my goal to routinely give him 5 days off!) :)

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  7. Can't help you, I'm afraid. I gravitate to the stubborn, cranky bastards. I'm good at, Yes, I really do mean what I say. Not so good at Whup, whup, whup.

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    1. We all have our strengths! Those types scare me a bit, to be honest.

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  8. I'm so glad you're having fun with him! Funny story...I got signed up for a 40km road/mountain bike ride this past weekend and was SO nervous about surviving said ride since I haven't been on a bike in ages...also, everyone but me looked super fit and competitive. Not to fear, Bridget's been keeping my legs SUPER strong and I kept up no problem. So, maybe see Henry as your opportunity to increase your abilities in other sports? :)

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    1. Haha that's awesome! Henry is slowly molding me into an athlete I guess XD

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  9. I spent a long time not asking Griffin for enough under saddle for the same reason of being green. It's a hard habit to break! You'll get there though. For sure.

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    1. That's a big problem for me, trying to work on it haha :)

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    2. That's a big problem for me, trying to work on it haha :)

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