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.