Sunday, December 21, 2014

Leg Yields and Lesson Kids

This week's schedule went pretty much as planned: I worked Maggie on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday/Friday was under saddle, but Wednesday was in hand/on the lunge. I was planning to work her on the lunge over some cavaletti, but when I went to the indoor there was a tiny child having a lead line lesson and I didn't want to potentially cause a scene by starting to lunge. Maggie is generally pretty quiet on the lunge if she's being worked somewhat consistently, EXCEPT for that first go-round when she likes to break into a canter and give a good 'ol buck n'squeal before settling into a trot. The lesson pony that the kid was on seemed very quiet, but I didn't want to take any chances of being responsible for the pony launching her across the indoor. Plus, since I'm not a boarder at this barn I have to give the boarders and lessons the right of way. Totally fine. It's a small price to pay for having access to an indoor arena all winter. 

So anyway, while the lead-line lesson was happening at one end of the ring I decided to practice leg yielding in-hand at the other end. I'd walk her parallel to an arena wall starting on the quarter line and have one of my hands leading her forward by the halter and the other hand behind the girth area, where my leg would be, using that hand to nudge her as her inside hind leg came forward thus asking for a leg yield to the wall (so is it hand yielding in this case??)

She did quite good tracking to the left, which isn't surprising considering that's her better direction, and ok to the right. I think practicing this in hand is actually good for me too, since it makes me really focus on the timing of the aids.

We had a whole 20 mins or so to kill until the lesson kid was done, so we also did a lot of general walk/halt/back leading practice which she is really good about because I did a ton of ground work like this before backing her. I also tried asking for some turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches from the ground. Turn on the forehand was better than turn on the haunches, which was to be expected, since I've never really schooled turn on the haunches before (and in all honesty, I have no idea what the aids for it under saddle are, because I'm a noob.) We're having this problem though - and according to my instructor it sometimes happens when we're trying to leg yield under saddle too - where Maggie tries to cross her inside leg behind her outside leg instead of in front of it. The only reason I can think of why she may do this is because, maybe, she doesn't have enough forward momentum? Thoughts from anyone?

So yeah, that was our little in-hand work out. When the lesson kid left I lunged for about 5 minutes, very low pressure, just to let Maggie relax a little and get that buck n'squeal out because after about 10 minutes of in-hand work she was all like, "Why are you still asking me to do these stupid things with my feet?!"

I so pretty!
Tuesday and Friday's rides were fairly similar to one another. For both days I focused mainly on straightness on a circle by keeping contact with my outside rein and leg to keep her from collapsing on the inside. I think we did decently and had some nice moments. Consistency is something that will come with a little more time, particularly with a little more consistent work as well ;) I did a little leg yielding under saddle as well and once again we're better when tracking left. One thing that helps us be better in that direction is, or perhaps hinders our progress in the other direction, is that when tracking left there's a mirror at the end of the arena that helps me really see her move. I like going that direction so that I can practice associating her movement and my aids with when I see her starting to pick up that inside hind hoof. Unfortunately, there's no such mirror in the arena that gives me the same view when tracking right.

Just this afternoon I went out for a chilly trail ride with a pair of my barn pals. The highlight of the ride was coming across a flooded part of the trail with pretty frozen patches. Rio was pretty psyched about drinking the icy water and Maggie just wanted to eat the dead leaves...

Odd children. (Pic by E)

1 comment:

  1. brr that pic of the horses playing just made me cold lol. sounds like nice, consistent rides!