Monday, November 3, 2014

cold wet day = first lesson indoors!

Lesson day dawned rainy gray and COLD. Brrrrr. Nothing worse than being freezing and wet. 

I saddled Isabel at her barn to avoid standing around in the rain at OF (there isn't really any indoor space for us to tack). My chiro recently vetoed the shims I was using for Isabel's saddle because they were independent pieces (held together by a strap) that distributed weight differently. 

But that still leaves us with some saddle fit issues. My bio-mechanics trainer recommended a rolled up towel under the pommel. This is a decent interim solution (bc it works), but the look is definitely a little odd lol. 



some judicious trimming will fix this up in the meantime

I've heard of others using those big quilted standing wraps. And my OF trainer suggested foam anti-bow bandages. I'll probably try those options out (or just trim the towel so it's hidden...), but figured I'd see if any of you have other ideas??

'it's eeeeting me!!!' - isabel

Then it was off to the lesson. Naturally, since I'd had such an easy time working with Special on and off the trailer, Isabel decided that she suddenly forgot what was up. Sigh. I suspect that she didn't like feeling the too-long cooler around her knees when stepping onto the trailer... But she's gonna need to get over that pronto. 


'ooh let's go talk to that pretty mare!' - isabel

Meanwhile, I recently watched a recorded lecture by bio-mechanics pro and anatomist Dr. Deb Bennett from the George Morris 2013 Horsemastership clinic on USEF Network, at the recommendation of Jen from Cob Jockey. The big gist of her talk was raising the base of the neck to improve overall balance for optimal conditioning and training.  

So I tried to keep this in mind while flatting. If the horse is lifting from the base of its neck, it will stretch or push its neck out - thus getting the long round look - with break over at the poll (and the vertical head set is just a byproduct of gravity). 

I've been thinking about drawing her nose *in* and compressing the neck, when I should be thinking of asking her to lengthen it - but from the base. Interesting food for thought. And I think we got a few moments of a more correct way of going - where Isabel reached out to the contact, rather than getting stuffed into it. 


Then it was on to jumping. The exercises were kind of simple, given the size of the arena. Simple - but still important. Exercise one had verticals along the KXM and HXF lines, and we were instructed to mind our corners. Isabel and I pretty much nailed them (including landing on all our leads!!!!!). But then they were raised and my eye left the building. Oops. At least Isabel still jumped 'em. 



Exercise two was an 18' one-stride line up the center line. My eye rejoined the party and we were fine to finish on this. I think the earlier distance problem was from picking too much at the pace - running forward then holding at the last second.... One day I'll learn to just leave her alone. 

In the meantime - looking forward to drier weather! 

18 comments:

  1. Brrrr! Wet and cold is an awful combo! I'm glad you still had a great lesson though.

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    1. thanks! and i'm definitely not looking forward to freezing temps... boo

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  2. Does she like adoring herself in mirror? So cute.

    Indoor lesson was a success!

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    1. she LOVES adoring herself - and being adored by everyone else lol. it's her favorite pastime

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  3. Yay for starting well & ending well, bits in between were just your eye getting your money's worth from the lessons - if everything was perfect all the time trainers wouldn't earn their keep right?! ;-)

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    1. i agree completely - i kinda hate it when the lesson is all puppies and rainbows, and then the in-between schooling rides are craptastic. better to hash out the problems with a trainer on hand :)

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  4. I hear ya about curling the neck in vs stretching it out. Nice to have an indoor to work in when things are yucky outside - those jumps look fun!

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    1. i'm definitely excited about the indoor - it was isabel's first time in there actually. hopefully we'll be able to stick with the lessons so long as the roads are safe for driving!

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  5. looks like a fun exercise in the lesson!

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    1. it was fun, even if it's a little simplistic. i'm thinking this might be my chance to ask for more grids, given that there isn't really room for actual courses

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  6. I hear you on the saddle woes, LOL! Be thankful she doesn't have shark fin withers and a saggy back. ;)

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    1. yea... that sounds pretty much the opposite of our issues... arabs with little to no withers, widely sprung rib cages and short backs = tricky saddle fit lol

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  7. Not sure what you need the extra padding for on your saddle- but I used this pad before I got my custom saddle and it worked really well for my horse.

    https://ecogold.ca/shop/withercare-risers-front-765-set-of-2/

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    1. oh interesting - yea the front of my saddle is a touch wide, so a little extra padding is needed. that system looks like it could fit the bill, so perhaps it'll get added to the xmas wish list lol... thanks for the info!

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  8. I have a custom built saddle for my one horse, but because it's custom built and horses change shape as their training advances, it requires adjustment periodically. The saddler who built it and adjusts it always reccomends putting a no-bow pad under the pommel during those awkward phases when the horse's back is changing shape too quickly to adjust the saddle properly.

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    1. great - that's kinda the impression i got from a few others (who recommended i stick with the wintec since it's adjustable). just looked up the no-bow pads on SP and they're quite affordable, so will probably just order 'em. thanks!

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  9. I wish I had access to an indoor arena!

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    1. this will be my first winter with isabel where we have access - i'm pretty excited about it honestly!! last year we went 3 months with no riding :(

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