Thursday 25 September 2014

Progress: Bridget Edition

Thought I would do a progress update for each pony once a month or so. Apologies in advance, this is probably going to be boring as heck, but I'm hoping a good tool for me to be able to look back on and/or set future goals. Ginger gets to be exempt this month, since we`ve just been inching back to work, but Bridget has accomplished a lot!

Best trail pony

Where we were at:

Confident little pony who would go anywhere you pointed her. Problem was, her concept of rein and leg aids was vague at best. Not to mention stop and go. But if you wanted to go out and walk around the trails she was actually pretty good - spooky and opinionated, but enjoying the outing.

Where we are now:

Way better steering! Our circles are mostly round these days. Awesome about moving off my leg as well...turns on the forehand and haunches are a go, as well as spirals and leg yields. Huge progress there over the last few weeks

A basic idea of contact/forward. It`s only been in the last week or so it's started to click. She's much less 'stuck' and willing to stretch down onto the bit. This is actually huge, since the driving video I saw of her was essentially all her running around inverted and featured a ton of head tossing. The head tossing stopped almost immediately when she realized I'm not going to haul on her face, but the inverted, hiding above the bit is taking longer. The last couple of days she's got a lot more confident about things and is addicted to stretching over her back, which makes me so happy!

Practical stuff - opening and closing gates mounted, lunging, fly spray, leaving the barn solo, dogs accompanying us, people on bicycles, leading/middle/following on trail rides, puddles, standing for mounting...all things that took some practice, but she's pretty solid now!

Things to work at;

Rhythm, straightness. Baby pony is still pretty wiggly, and the trot is much improved, but still very stop and go feeling as compared to a more finished horse. 

Balance, strength. Lots more slow trail miles will help get us there with minimal stress.

Canter. Currently if I'm after her to get some 'forward' and if she offers canter for a few strides I take it. That's fine for now, but a transition on cue could be something to play with after the above two items have progressed a little more.

Lunging/in hand work. We've got the basics, but I'd like to get her more on level with Ginger, where I can essentially do everything I need to from the ground and get the same or better results as a ride.

Lots more of this in our future


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