Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Girl On Her Horse

Someone asked me the other day what I was putting into practice as a result of Walter Zettl's clinic. I learned so much,(much was beyond me), but I did absorb some things to add to the arsenal of things I am ALREADY working on. In fact, I got some great tips, but I mostly work from what my instructor teaches. The clinic just helped me with the bigger picture I guess you could say. It also helped to see SO many riders having to work at their canter, I got tons of great info. and feel that cantering is now so close I can taste it. Hopefully, not because I go off and have blood in my mouth along with broken bones! :)

We are working on transitions (of course) with lengthenings; one really good thing to practice that we learned from the clinic is to have the person you are with shout rapid fire transition commands at you. "Walk, trot, walk." etc, really quick. It does serve to wake Jackson up although we are not fast at them at all.

We have been studying turns on the forehand and leg yields at the quarter line...we do NOT get them right a lot of the time. This is my fault of course, because my horse does them perfectly if they are set up right!!! I should say our turns on the forehand are a lot better than our leg yields with the back legs crossing from the quarter line to the track...and that looks so darn cool too!

Also working on straightness while working and backing. We do really awesome backing--look ma I didn't use my reins. Did you notice that I didn't use them to stop that time either? MOM, you obviously just weren't watching the paint dry!!! LOL!

In my last lesson Allison and I began working on shoulder fore in preparaton for shoulder in, which she said was coming very soon. Sholder fore is simply aligning the horses inside shoulder with his inside hip. I can feel when we do it, but when I asked Allison HOW I would know I was doing it right, she said, "When I tell you you are." Obviously a LONG ways to go on that bit just yet. That's OK. I must have been truly awful at it because usually I can at least practice what I've learned....

Also doing TONS of circles, serpentines and ssssnakes (my terminology)....working on initiating turns with the inside leg and then capturing the increase in impulsion with my outside rein while opening the inside rein to indicate direction. The idea is that Jackson will then respond by bending around the inside leg and shifting the balance back. You then GIVE on the inside rein and DRIVE, not pull him around the turn. The rider's outside leg must be slightly back to avoid the horse's hind leg stepping out. Luckily Jackson is a very bendy horse :), but learning dressage and teaching my green horse too is HARD AS, I will not lie.
But when I can float to a fence, take it like a pro, and then float away, I will have my success.
And GOD willing, success I will taste!

Must go now, was exposed to H1N1 and the fever feels like it's back, I had a little bit of energy and instead of getting dog hair up off of the floor I posted... ugh, I am a horrid sick sad soul.


  1. Oh no! Sure hope you get to feeling better soon. One good thing is that H1N1 seems to be harder on children. Those of us who are older and have been exposed to flu and had flu shots don't seem to get it as bad. Has Miles had his shot?

  2. YES! Thankfully Miles has had his flu shot! Not that he's had the H1N1, but I'm not going to get that one anyway. No research, no FDA approval. All the docs I work with are saying to stay AWAY from it!

  3. First of all I've got to thank you for all your kind comments on my blog lately. My parents were quite impressed and have said "and like your friend Mindy says..."

    Very cool that you were able to audit this clinic! I know what you mean about too much information. But I think it all lives in there somewhere, and eventually when you hear it again you're like "oh yeah, I remember something about that concept." Sounds like you got a LOT out of it and are excited to use it. Sweet!

    Oh, and I agree about the Swine vaccination- I've heard it's quite dangerous. One of my doctor friends has gone as far to say that she thinks there will be long-term repercussions from it...

  4. Sounds like you're making some great progress with Jackson. I hope you're feeling better soon.


  5. It sounds like everything is coming along great. I'm so jealous you got to go audit a clinic with Walter Zettl. Feel better soon and take it easy.

  6. You'll fall in love with the canter, just wait and see! :-)

  7. Esther--Oh hands down, no doubt, I LOVE the canter. But a horse who doesn't know how to do it with a rider is an ENTIRE different story! We actually did for 10 or so strides the other day. It was fine. But needs work to be rocking chair comfy..... :)


Please leave your comments here! I am always happy to hear from all of you in the form of advice, encouragement or questions!
~Slainte' Mhath!