Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Lesson With Mrs. Tia/Canter Transitions

Happy Sunday, everybody!!

Mrs. Tia came over Friday afternoon. She showed me some awesome stuff that I needed to do, plus she tweaked some things that I was doing wrong. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of the groundwork part (it was a two hour lesson) but my mom got back home just in time to get some pictures of the riding half. Mrs.Tia thought that Ollie might have a bit problem so he went bridle-less and we just used the halter and lead rope. I didn't think he would be very respectful without his bit because he can have a VERY. HARD. MOUTH, but with the halter he was so soft and never gave me any trouble, so it makes me think that the bit really was the problem. We also used Mrs.Tia's endurance saddle because it would fit her better than my saddle. Mrs. Tia is 5'10" and the saddle I have is meant for short, small people like me....I am 5'3".

At first he tested her and was a little resistant....

..but then he realized that he wasn't about to get away with anything and straightened out quickly. 

Then I got on and Mrs. Tia instructed me from the ground. YAY!! I really wanted to get into the saddle again after being off of it for about two months except, for that one time he bucked me off a month ago. 

We worked on a lot of walk, trot, canter, halt, and back up transitions. 
 A normal transition was 7 walk steps, 15 trot steps, 3 canter steps, 15 trot steps, 7 walk steps, halt, back up, etc.

Pretty Boy

Ollie and me with my horse helmet hair. ;)
I was sooo happy after the lesson with Mrs Tia!! He was SO respectful and soft. I also got him to move his back-end (hip), and front end (shoulder) from the saddle which he has never done with me without resistance. I was overjoyed! I still am. :D 

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I set out to ride Ollie again. With a halter,which in the horse world, is a big deal, plus LOTS of trot/canter, canter/halt transitions (just because I like the canter a lot).

I did a lot of groundwork first to see where his mind was at, then hopped on (literally). I did a lot of walking, and trotting transitions before these photos..but eventually it all became trot/canter, canter/walk transitions. 

What? ME?

Portrait Shot 

He was still pretty soft, and much more respectful. I am sure the groundwork helped out a lot with that. Our relationship has improved drastically and we have bonded so much in the past month. I am so thankful I have Ollie as my horsey partner and friend and that he isn't push button. I have (and will continue) to learn from him and become a better overall horse-person.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Update On Ollie

Hello, Everyone!

I have been in a model horse hobby funk. I haven't been all that interested in them recently because I have been so busy with Ollie and I actually dropped out of MEPSA for this season (even though I had horses qualified for the Championship Show) because I have no time for it. I am hoping to pick it back up in August.

But things with Ollie have been very full. I rode him for the first time in a month, a month ago. We were walking down a hill on a trail ride when he bucked. I was relaxed (and SO not prepared for it-we were walking and he had never bucked me off before except once when I got on bareback at an angle on his neck and he did a tiny crow-hop and I just fell off because his back was slippery) and so I just slumped off into the ground. I smashed my nose on our dirt road (ouch) and it later looked broken (but luckily it wasn't). I got up and was wondering why in the world he could have done such a thing. I got back on (he was just standing there when after I fell off) and looked around again. Then I saw a huge Husky staring at us underneath a tree in the shade, growling. I decided the dog was probably why he bucked, so we continued on our way and everything was good until I asked him to trot. He immediately tried to swerve the other direction and then bucked three times. I was (luckily) prepared and did not fall off. With my confidence still on high, we continued down the road. As we got to another hill, he wanted to speed up to go over it and as I insisted on a walk, he bucked four times, but again I was prepared and did not fall off. After his last bucking session, I realized that it would be dangerous to keep riding him back home (which was about 2 miles away) so I got off and walked alongside him.

Still perplexed, when I got home I put him into the round pen where I put him on a circle. He bucked, and bucked, and bucked. I called my horse trainer that night and she told me that I had to stop all riding and do groundwork (LOTS of groundwork) to gain his respect. He did not respect me like he should. Because he was/is a young horse, because it was spring, and because he hadn't been ridden in a month-it was all contributing to the extra energy, and therefore, the bucks.

So, this past month his been a bunch of groundwork. My horse trainer Mrs. June (the one I talked to on the phone-I have two horse trainers) came and helped me out with some new things to do and some exercises that would get his respect back. We found some holes in his foundation, and fixed/are fixing them. At first when I started the groundwork he was very naughty, and would firmly say "NO" to me. But after a few things, he became submissive.  We have bonded a lot over the past month, and I am getting back into the saddle this week, when my other horse trainer Mrs. Tia (Who is a four star Pat Pareilli instructor) comes out on Thursday to do some work with him. I will get photos of that, but for now I hope that some pictures of my last groundwork lesson with him will suffice.

Look at that tail!!!! So pretty..and long (for a appaloosa). 

Pretty Face. 

My pretty gelding. Love him so much! 

Oh, and I almost forgot. Ollie came back from his daily turnout time a few days ago limping on the front right leg and with his back leg scratched up too. I did not see what happened, but I am guessing that he ran into some oak brush. He is healing well-almost no limp is detected when he walks, trots and canters, but I am still going to keep an eye on it. Hopefully he will be perfect by Thursday!  

Ollie in his stall with a poultice wrap to draw out inflammation.