Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Contact....contact....contact!

Well, after a not-so-good weekend of rain and a swollen hock, I was pretty bummed. Sunday her hock was totally back to normal, but it was POURING. I mean just absolutely miserable. There was no way I wanted to ride.

And Monday night S and I had to go to kindergarten information night. Yes, my baby will be starting kindergarten this coming fall. Where does the time go???

Anyway, the sun was out today and I was bound and determined to ride. I got the stalls done, the barn cleaned, and the mares inside and grained by 5PM. I cleaned them both up and got all my tack ready to go by the crossties. Back in the house by 6PM to make dinner for us humans, S arrived home at 6:30. Good timing. :)

I was able to go out to the barn and just tack up. I rode for just over 30 minutes and overall I am pretty happy with our ride. Dreamy was totally calm and willing. I rode in the field, but I was probably pushing it a little. I just could NOT ride in the driveway tonight. UHGGGG. Most of our field circle was fine for walk/trot and about 1/4 of it was pretty muddy. I just skirted around it the best I could by going into the little bit of snow that is left there along the edge. It made for a weird side to that part of the circle, but whatever. On a 40-45 meter circle it does not really matter.

I just walked and trotted her. The footing where we trotted was NOT good enough to bother cantering. No biggie. So I focused on CONTACT tonight. Usually I get really impatient and fuss with her, which makes her fuss back at me. So tonight I decided to try something that I read on another blog, Eventing A Gogo written by Andrea. Andrea's mare dislikes contact in her warmup and Andrea has been trying to just let her be and wait for her to come down and accept the contact. She gives her a set amount of rein and waits for her mare.

So I decided that instead of nitpick Dreamy to death and make it worse, I would see what happened. If I nitpick, Dreamy starts to CHAMP and CHOMP on her bit. UGGG. So going to the left, I just gave her a set amount of rein, and every time she came above the contact I just moved my hands to keep that contact instead of letting the reins go slack (which is what Dreamy wants). It only took a half of a circle around for her to accept the contact. We walked and trotted, halted, and worked on stretchy walk to medium walk just fine.

But the other direction? Not so good. It was not bad per se, but it was not as nice as going on the left rein. Oh well. She was NOT impressed, but she also did not get as frustrated with me since I was not fussing with her. I just would thump her with my legs as needed (think Pony kick) when she would suck back and totally invert, but I just kept a steady feel on the reins instead of trying to lift, use indirect, use opening rein, etc etc. And it worked pretty good. I think if I continue to ride her like this all the time, she will eventually settle into the contact easily and softly as she did to the left. :)

Not much else going on. I am going to search around for a Furminator thing online in a moment. I think that is what it is called. I will blog about it this week. :D LOL!

And only 19 days 'till our first show! :)

1 comment:

kickan said...

OMG, do NOT get the Furminator.
I bought one, tried it on JB and hated it. And JB hated it too. The $3 Grooming blocks works 100 times better, so save your money!
I sent mine back and they will return my money even though I used it.......