Monday, November 6, 2017

Whizkey's Shoulders Open Up

Ride 40 marked a pivotal learning moment for Whizkey - his own "aha". I've spent at least the last 10 rides trying to teach him to open his shoulder for the turnarounds.  It was actually an exercise we focused on during our lesson with Andrea.  With focused rides on that, he still just didn't seem to get it...trying he most certainly was, and doing well to the right but the left was still sticky. Up until this last ride at least!

The exercise is using the idea of the "pinwheel" to wind your way down into the turnaround from the trot.  I had used that concept before,  but Andrea gave me a new tool with it which was incorporating the outside neck rein and also outside rein feel on the bit. She encouraged me that he wasn't too green to start understanding the concept.  Sticky at times and learning in others,  I was starting to get ready to ditch the exercise and try something else,  until Whiz magically stepped around freely in his shoulder, and then again, and again until 3 revolutions were made.  He felt great! And I was so excited for him to finally "get it"!

Whizkey made a great little posthole!

In addition,  it was a great ride and coupled with consistent riding and the reinforcement with the exercise, he is stepping his shoulder around great in general,  not just for the turnaround,  and the neck rein and outside rein concept is really starting to make sense to him.  Very exciting accomplishment!

I decided that since our lope departures are staying to get sticky too, it was time for him to learn the nose in, hip in exercise.  This will help the lope departure for sure, and lead changes.  So far,  he learned at the standstill to stay soft to the inside rein, and step his hip to the inside as well. Progress! And a very smart, willing 3 year old.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

So, What's Going On?

Wow,  a lot has happened in the 2 years I have neglected this blog.  I'm sorry if some old time readers were curious.  I really would like to get this blog going again,  my biggest hold back is that I no longer have a computer and operating off of my phone is rather difficult when it comes to blogging.  But, I'll try my best,  because I have missed the documentation and I have lots to grow and reflect upon with Milo still,  and so much with Whizkey.

Speaking of Whizkey....I started the now 3 year old in April and am taking this slow but consistent with him.  He's logged 39 rides to date sonce April, to include two under saddle schooling shows (rail classes for exposure), three trail rides,  and rides in various arenas including a lesson with a new trainer! He's surprising me in leaps and bounds with his natural ability and intelligent mind.  I'm excited to document how he progresses!

Whizkey and Milo,  the first frost at the farm, 2015. Much has changed since this photo! 

My wonderful Milo is now semi-retired from reining.  After a second successful competative year in 2016 (consecutive championship year end award winner!), I decided it was time to let him hang up his sliders and pursue less strenuous events. Our new focuses include working horse events,  ranch riding,  and western dressage.  Milo seems to be enjoying the change of pace and I'm enjoying new goals and focus in our riding.

Milo and I at our last competative reining show,  2016, with my dogs Charlie and Callie

Although Whizkey will get attention later this winter by attending a local schooling series, the first half of fall and winter is dedicated to Milo competing.  We attended the first of 4 shows in October where we are competing in western 3 gait events,  ranch riding,  and Western dressage! We started theW.D. well in Intro Test 3,  with most scores in the 6 and 7 range!  This Saturday is the second of the series.

Finally,  for this post, much of my extra time is dedicated to projects on my farm.  That's right!  I bought my own slice of paradise.  A home on 4.5 acres where I've built/remodeled a 3 stall barn (in the works still but horses moved in last December), a 2 stall run in shelter was erected,  a walk in chicken coop,  and a run in shelter for my goats!  Yes I have 3 goats now!  The next biggest project is my outdoor arena,  but that won't have more progress until the spring now.  This week,  however,  I'm installing a round pen light,  for the 50ft pen I completed in May. I'll have to dedicate a post entirely for my before and afters relating to the farm (named County Line Farm).

Heres one before and after,  the barn and paddocks.  The before photo doesn't represent that there were 16 trees we took out for the paddock space. 

Best regards blogger friends!