Report on the progress made by two Arab horses
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, February 11, 2008 10:02 PM
By now, I'm working with two Arabs ( read the blog from November 8th) for 3 months with some time off when I was in Denver. Wow, just three months! I didn't realize that. Horses are doing really well, especially the mare, Summer. The gelding, Ali, had a set back because of the injury. He cut his chest and was off for the month.
Summer is becoming a fine riding horse. She is going much more forward, she is staying focused on the rider and because of that is less spooky. She is stretching into the bridle releasing her back, so it is much more comfortable to ride her. And the best part if she tenses up and raises her head it is not difficult to ask her to stretch and come back on the bit. She is starting to listen to the seat and move with more impulsion as a result. What I mean by this is she is not just speeds up from the leg, but pushes more from behind. That can only possible if she stays connected, listens to the seat and keeps the tempo and rhythm of the pace, doesn't stiffen up from the leg and only increases power in her steps. We are working on leg-yields, shoulder-ins and lots of circles and changes of direction in walk, trot and canter. She does turns on the forehand and haunches. Her transitions into canter are improving. They are prompt, balanced and even. Downward transitions are prompt but not yet as smooth as I want them. I work her in hand on leg yields and shoulder-ins. She is so compact and mobile it will be easy for her to learn piaffe. She is learning how to jump. As soon as she understood the concept she is becoming very good at it.
Ali is much more difficult case. Before the accident he was starting to accept the leg and accept the bit. At first he was very scared. When he started to come around he started asking questions and checking where he stands with me. The more sure of himself he became the more he showed his complicated nature. After he recovered from his injury we had to start almost from the beginning. Recently he really challenged me in regard who is boss and why he has to listen to me. He wouldn't move over or step back when he was tied and I had to stop everything else and worked him for a few minutes on that. In arena he bit me when I touched him with the whip to ask for a leg yield. And interesting part is when I swap him on the neck for doing that it didn't scare him. He knew exactly why he was hit. He tried couple more times but I was ready for him. And then he quit, we did a nice leg yield and he was much better under saddle than usual. And since I have worked him again and he was a different horse. He was with me. I think he came around because first of all I didn't let him get away with the rude behavior. On the other hand I didn't make a big deal out of it, I just let him know I'm not going to tolerate it. After that I was myself again working him as usual praising him for a good work. Several attempts didn't get him anywhere and he stopped. He may try again in a few days and/or few months, etc. That is why I think he was mistreated. He always expresses his opinion and wants to know where he stands with people. We are riding lots of walk: circles, turns on the forehand, leg yields. He is relaxing and stretching and sometimes he walks like a sniffing dog. In trot - circles, spirals, going forward, stretching into the bridle mostly from the inside leg, starting some leg yields. We do a little bit of canter because canter makes him excited, he starts to jump. Right now it is not the gait to work with just to let him get used to it.
Happy riding...
 
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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