Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Set of Eyes

Yesterday I had the privilege of my boyfriend, Wes, coming out to watch me ride (he was actually going to help me clean the pastures, but got there after I finished, so I put him to work doing something else...). So I asked if he would be able to film me a little bit on schooling Milo, so I could get a better idea of what we look like and what I might be doing to hinder his potential.

This first one is just me working Milo. I noticed right off the bat that I need to scoot forward a hair in the saddle, and sit a lot more upright, Im not doing hunter rounds! I think this will help allow Milo to pick up his shoulders more and will probably aid in even more self carriage. Yes, there are other things I could pick on about my equitation, but Im not going to do any eq classes in the future, so Im only concerned about how I can be more effective in my riding.

I also noticed that Milo looks a lot better than he feels sometimes. For instance, if he pops his head up he feels like hes really high headed and hollowed out, where in reality, he really only looks like he raised his head a bit and maybe only hollowed a little bit. So good boy Milo, Mom is just being really critical! He also is carrying himself a lot more and not relying on me to hold him up (not 100%, but better). You might also notice (or not because I rarely get video posted) that his transitions are doing a lot better (I told you!). He feels great and is engaging his hind end better.

You can also see in this video how I had my trot poles set up and the low cross rail (set up on the barrels). I usually will warm him up on the longe line over these, than also a bit under saddle to remind him to round and pick up his back. I didnt longe him over them yesterday, but did school over them briefly before beginning our work. 

In the next video, Im working on his flying change using the method that Bob Avila had described. I have those two "poles" set up whereby I lope straight up to one, than leg yeild over, and ask for the change. Milo again wasnt getting it initially, he still just doesnt know what the cue means, which is ok because its only the second time working on it. But you can see there at the end that he finally gets it and does it correctly. Mind you, I am working just on that one direction to not confuse him while we go through it, after the video I did go and work it on the other side (he didnt get the lead though, but I did get a simple one out of him). 

The big thing I noticed about this one was how much I was hindering him.Yes, the too far forward in the saddle, but I was also forgetting the very import words from Bob Avila; staying balanced and centered over the horse while asking for the change. I was leaning into the change and was perched forward, probably entirely hindering his physical capability of getting himself balanced to make the change. 

What Im going to take out of these videos is that I need to shape up a bit (lol). I need to remind myself to stay more balanced in the saddle, meaning more upright and centered in the saddle, and no leaning!! I can continue doing what Im doing with Milo because he is doing a great job, I just need to fix myself. 

Now for a little fun. I had been dying to get a couple of conformation shots of Milo this summer before his winter hair grows in and he turns into a yak. So after the ride, I did just that. 
Theres Milo looking very enthused. C'mon Milo, lets get a good one!

OK, better...

Milo is 6 years, 5 months, and three days old in this photo. What a difference from when I got him at 3 years, 3 months, 7 days:

I know he's a bit downhill still, and probably always will be. But I loves him nonetheless, and he can still use that huge butty and thats all I care about! :)

On with more fun...

1 comment:

Story said...

He looks wonderful! I've been struggling with the same thing where I find myself getting very "hunterish" in my position while loping, and it gets worse the faster we go! When I'm actually sitting straight I feel like I'm leaning back. But getting my butt under me has really helped with a lot of our problems, in particular our stops have improved a ton!