Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 7: Riding: Getting Soft


(I took this off of my other blog. I hope y'all enjoy it!)

Hello, Everyone!

Sorry I have not posted this past week, I just didn't have pictures, or even the time to write. But now I have some free time (and pictures!) so......

Day 7.
 Riding Ollie. 
Ollie is still getting back into the whole full training portion so I did not bring any new exercise to the table today, and I probably won't tomorrow either, but on Monday (weather permitting) I hope to introduce some new Intermediate Riding skills to him.

Backing up is very important for Ollie.  Being soft in the mouth, rounding the back, and backing willingly is often a challenge for horses. The key is ask the horse to back up, and have him back until he rounds his back and softens his mouth. As you can see in the photo below, as soon as Ollie got soft I released all pressure from the sides and his mouth. 

Ollie backs up with body language most of the time, but I wanted to ask for a few backups and get his mouth really soft, just for a reminder to him. When I ride Ollie I typically back him 15-25 times a ride.

Collected at the trot...still needs a lot of work, but improving! 

Not collected at the trot, but trotting smoothly and still with a smooth mouth. Notice the neck is level with his withers and he is relaxed .
I worked on a very small amount of collection with Ollie in the round pen as well. I want him to be much softer,  but that will come in time and more work. As the same with the backup, as soon as he softened his face to the bit I would release all pressure and as a reward he would trot about 10-15 steps before I asked him to collect again.

I then moved out to the front pasture. I always practice lateral flexion every time I mount, as shown above. Having a soft face and a soft mouth is very important, and so I will flex Ollie between 25-30 times on each side every time I ride him (when in training). 
Look at his tail!!!!!! It has grown a lot since August!!

We did some trotting on the fence line and in circles. Again, this is all about getting soft throughout the whole body. 

We also did some loping. I mostly did this for fun but we loped circles as well. 

Overall, I am very proud of Ollie today. I am excited to learn some new things with him! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Atz Update: 11 Weeks

Hello Everyone!

Excited for the Superbowl?  I am so ready for it that I am blogging this to pass some time before the kickoff.

Is time usually this slow?!

Anyway, today marks three weeks of owning Atz. He is 11 weeks old now, and is a big, happy boy who has a bunch of energy. He is/was more playful than Risa was at this age, as well as smarter. Of course, being true to the Hovawart breed he sometimes acts ignorant.

"What!!? You said NOT to eat the shoe!!?"

Yes. No not eat the shoe.

*Atz drops the shoe and grabs a sock*



I just took a sock from him in this picture. 

Atz is also klutzy, sometimes forgetting where his feet are and tripping all over himself. It is very amusing to watch, and he does not seem to mind falling at all!

He sleeps in funky ways. :) 

Look at that face. He is going to be a very good guard dog one day!

Now, off to the couch to wait impatiently for the Superbowl!! #GoBroncos #UNITEDINORANGE