Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The BIG Picture

I am at awe at so many people who work with horses. Now I know the first thing to be said will be "it takes time and experience." Ok, I really do understand that. But, how the HECK do you all work everything together all at once? What I mean is, while working my mare Sunday to get her to go to the left, I was SO focused on getting her to just GO, that all the other things I should have been doing and watching for went right out the window. For instance, she wasn't really close to a controlled pace. At all. It was a little sporadic and it was mostly quick jogging. I was so focused on getting her to just go, that trying to get a slow jog didn't even cross my mind. Yes, she did slow down a wee tad by the third round, but it wasn't because I was making her. No, I wasn't chasing her and yelling and trying to run her to death, but when I finally got her to take a few steps, she just took off in the fast jog. And slowing for her meant to screech to a halt. Another thing on my list of things to look at but that totally evaded my mind, looking at the hind end and hind feet to see if they were under her or poking out all over. I will venture a guess to say that they weren't poking out all over, but I don't really think they were under her just from experience. The trainer always said she doesn't push herself into to the jog or lope, but she more so drags herself with her front end. He stressed that going at a slower pace takes more effort than just running blindly or fast. She has a hallow back I think it's called.

My point here is, how do I learn to coordinate all this stuff all at once? Control her speed, make sure she doesn't stop and spin to turn the other way, check her feet position to see if she's getting under herself and not just dragging herself along, make sure you are looking to see that she's on the correct lead while loping, make sure nothing looks off, etc. Maybe that's just my whole problem with riding. I know I do focus on myself, like hand position to make sure I'm not hanging and banging on her mouth, leg position to make sure my cue's are going to get the point across, making sure that I'm sitting low and not bouncing in the saddle while jogging, etc. And then I am also trying to focus on her to watch her mood (are ears pinned back, is head in the air, etc.) AND steer, but I don't concentrate on feeling her body and movements like I should be instead of actually looking at her. I am a bit better than I was at first. At first my eyes didn't go off her head and ears for more than a glance to make sure I was steering right, but they do now and I don't watch HER as much as everything else now.

I suppose it's like kids. After awhile it just starts falling in place and you can make dinner while doing laundry while giving kids baths, right? lol I sure hope so.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You have to be totally in the moment, for sure. I'm kind of where you are right now, too.
Still learning many of the basics. I love spending time with me horse, but there's so much to be aware of and still to learn.
Sometimes, it feels like we need at least 5 more sets of eyes, and a few more arms and legs to do the things expected during riding.
It's pretty confusing to make sure everything is in it's right place all the time on our own bodies...and then to add in keeping track of where everything is supposed to be on the horse. gah!

I think that's one of the reasons I love trail riding so much. There's not as many expectations as with dressage and other equitation. We're just outside together, living in the moment, dealing with any trail challenges, and enjoying the nature all around.

(It could aso be because I tend to be lazy, just like my sweet horse. lol!)

New Mexico

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Oh kiddo...don't get overwhelmed...Rome wasn't built in a day!!

First of all right now, you just need to focus on Sassie's forward movement. Speed(as long as she isn't dragging you all over the arena) and consistency is NOT an issue.

Right now, she needs you to stay focused on exactly what you what her to do, she is unsure and needs to feed off of your confidence every step of the way. Her behavior is not uncommon. As she gets more comfortable, she will get more consistent. She will learn to move off without the big spurt and to slow down, not come to a screeching halt just because you relax.
Just stay focused and give her some time to get comfortable out there on her own.

ezra_pandora said...

LOR - I cannot WAIT until I can actually trail ride. We had her riding out in the hay field with the big woods right behind it. She was ok in the field, but as we rode BY the woods she quickened her step and head came way up in the air. She was very aware of those woods. So I might try to just walk on the ground with her through the woods a few times first to see how she does before actually riding with her. My hubby has big plans of hiring a sitter so that he and I can just go trail riding. lol Someday.

BEC - It seems so much easier with someone over your shoulder telling you what you need to look and watch for. Last night was great, and I'm going to post about that here shortly. You have been of the utmost help through what is probably a minor thing but an issue to me for sure. I really appreciate it. Thankfully with Sassie's speed doesn't come pulling and jerking. She is excellent with that and has never pulled on the lunge line. In fact it's the total opposite, with any sort of tightness in the line she tends to think she's supposed to stop, so I have to make sure there's some sort of slack at all times or we don't get too far. I've slowly been kind of pulling and releasing to get her to maintain a decent circle. She's doing well with that.

Mrs Mom said...

Ezra, take one step at a time. First, let her get going to the left! Thats fine! Look at that- she IS going left!

It will all fall in place- I promise. Practice practice practice, and before long it will all just click.

If something feels better for you, then do it. Trying to do everything "exactly" as someone else does it will only frustrate the ever loving p*ss out of you.

So take it one step at a time, and you will get there! You got her to GO left!!! Dude, that is HUGE!!!!


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