Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Relaxation starts with the Rider

Rode Milo yesterday but ditched the reverse wedge cashel and just used my wool blanket, just to get an idea of what the wedge was effecting/causing. Well, Milo still got a dry spot, but I know it isnt a poor fitting saddle because it fits him great everywhere on his back when we put it on him and it fits and feels great. He is a little holow right behind his withers still, which Im working on, and that is there the dry spots are. So I think that the saddle just isnt sitting closely enough on his back there. So the pad I am thinking about buying than is this one here:

Its the Professionals Choice SMx OrthoSport Pad, where there is a bit more padding right where Milo will need it. Its $179.95 and through my selling of old english items I never used, and a little bit of bithday money, Im only about $30 away right now (not including shipping). So hopefully I can get it pretty soon.

In riding news, Milo was great yesterday, particularly at the lope. He was very fluid and relaxed his good direction of course, really rounding himself and reaching from behind. He started out stiff to his bad side (left track) but eventually relaxed for brief moments on the straight, and would tense on the corners again. So I brought him into the center and loped a few circles until he was balanced and round again, than went back onto the larger track and he was relaxed and round through both the straight and corner. It was a great feeling.

I did notice he is still holding tension in his left jaw. Ive been working on it more through flexing exercises under saddle at a stand still, walk, jog, and minimally at the lope. Hes also still heavier to my left leg. Today I think I will ride him bareback because the issue could be me throwing undue weight to the left again, which last time I only noticed myself doing when bareback. So I think part of his tension on the left is due to me.

Another thing I have been telling myself to be working on and then just kind of skimming over is transitions. We need more work on transitions. He hollows and tenses into almost every transition up or down (unless its a hard whoa). So I worked on that a bit with him yesterday too. Its just going to take more and more focused work on it. The goal is to get him to be balanced and round engaging his hind end before I ask for the transistion, and than for him to utilize his rear to step right into the forward transition (or downward). Not for him to be round, me ask for the change, him tense, picks up the new pace, still tense, me put him back into frame. He needs to go from frame at one pace right into consistent frame into the next. Hope that makes sense. If not, at least I know what Im looking for :)

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