Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reinforcing What We Know

Monday night at the barn.

I just thought this was a cool image when I lead Milo up from the pastures on Monday morning. The rain had cleared for the evening, and it was quite nice outside. The skies were clear and the moon was bright. This is the main barn and the arena. Milo used to be right smack dab in the middle of the barn, but he was also unhappy and a bundle of energy when kept in there.

I had a successful and nice ride this evening as well. Milo is so acceptant of the elevator bit now, he carries it like a pro. And Im continuing to learn how to use it to its best abilities as well, especially with the outside rein to inside leg, and inside rein bump when needed. In fact, during our warm up I rode Milo all around one handed, and was able to navigate about 90% on leg alone, with a lifted back as well. He is also progressing in staying forward and not bulging the shoulder out. While it did take a few minutes of concentrated work on it, he eventually became much more responsive to my leg bumping at him and he soon stopped trying to bulge it out altogether. This too will take time to go away entirely, but it is a great first few steps.

He also has the counter arc (lift and bend) down pat at the walk. The biggest thing now is my position. I am actively trying to keep my leg independant from my seat, and its getting better in baby steps. But now I notice when I lay my leg back to push his hip in and I fall onto my forehand. Knowing its happening is helping me to correct myself quickly and stay in position. I think giving Sarah back her saddle and going back to bareback again will help me keep my legs independent.

There was a lesson again however and many cones, poles, and even a bridge set up. So I had to maneuver through all of that. And when finally the lesson was over and I thought I could work on the loping serpentine exercise, than a boarder came in to longe. So I didnt get to work on the exercise because even with full access to the arena its too small to work on it properly. But I did get to work on loping circles and utilizing the outside rein. It is continuing to come together for me and the results are amazing. I also wanted to mention that Milo almost feels back to normal at the right lead lope. He is a little disconnected from front to back still, but even just over a week's worth of corrective riding is helping him move freer again. Not to mention our lope circles were starting to get really nice. He was rounding up and driving nicely.

Wednesday night DHR is holding a "speed penning". If you dont know what that is, check it out on youtube. It looks like a lot of fun and is fast paced. Even Sarah told me she would come and get me so Milo and I could do it. But being that its fast paced and high energy, I dont think its a good idea to do that with Milo just yet. While I think it would be a ton of fun (in the future) I still need to work on dry cows with Milo and get him tuning into me. I could just see him losing his mind if we were working cattle that quickly. We would definitly have some moments of tuning-Mom-out. Not something I want from my cow horse. But eventually I can hopfully have the chance to try it. Im contemplating going to DHR anyways to help where needed and observe, I still think it would be a fun event to watch, and Im sure Cathy could use another set of hands.

Lastly, Im hoping to set up another date for a lesson with Sarah, Im thinking the week after Christmas. That gives me a little more time to solidify what we last learned from Sarah, and hopefully be able to move on. Plus, that would be right before the next reining show, maybe she can give me a few more pointers. On another note, I think I may look into investing in the Les Vogt Elevator Bit. Milo is responding so well in it and I cant borrow Sarah's forever. Ill ask her when I see her again what she thinks about that. Until next time...

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