Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
I mentioned a few weeks ago, that while working on the basics is so important and so good for you it is sometimes hard to be patient.

But now we are starting to progress again. Watching my trainer ride was helpful to see that when Whin didn't jump off her leg she would give her a bump with the spurs. Also Whin remebers from that ride that she needs to get off your left leg.

We did all sorts of shoulders in and haunches in and even did a little half pass. It was so nice to have those things be easy.
 Before I always tried to fix the movement which is really hard and very frustrating for Whin. This past few months has really taught me to just go back to the basics when those are there then the movements are so easy.

The things that 6 months ago Whin was really struggling with are  simple with  no fuss.

Some Epihanies that I had were that if Whin is stiff in the bridle if I just play with the rein for a moment she will soften and become nice and light.

Also to help Whin balance to the right in the canter I have been counter bending her but not then leg yielding her to the outside enough.  That is when she can really balance.

I have high hopes that when we get the canter in the right place the flying changes will become easy too!

Friday, February 6, 2015

The DYI rider

I am largly a DYI rider, with the acception of the first 90 I have done all the riding on Whin. But now that I have a new trainer that can ride I am starting to see the light of having a trainer ride your horse.
Yesterday in our lesson my trainer rode most of the time. 
Before I had, had trainers get on when things were not going great,but now I see the value in having a trainer regularly get on.
It is so nice to have a trainer hop on because than they get to feel what is going on. My trainer realized that my horse was throwing her haunches in and her shoulder out and then tilting her nose instead of really bending around my leg. This is on her harder side  which is why it has never felt as through.

Also Willow started to do her backing up thing, it was so nice to see how my trainer dealt with it, and got her through it.

So now we have new stuff to work on and I had the benefit of hopping on afterward and feel how Whin is supposed to go.

So I am still a DYIer but I think my trainer hopping on  is great.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slowly but Surely

Had another lesson yesterday. It was great.
I will admit I was a little discouraged, These horses are always humbling you. I knew from judges comments that we were not truely ready for second level last year but it takes swallowing pride to go back and work on the basics. Sometimes that is hard to do, but it is always worth it.

Yesterday I was finally seeing the payoff of going back to the basics.  My Trainer said that we had real collection. (yes the thing that was really hard for us and we could never get, and Every single Judge said we didn't have enough of . to the point (this was a very depressing show) that a Judge commented that we did not show any collection worthy of Second Level.) So when my trainer said that, even though we were in the indoor I am pretty sure that the clouds parted the sun shone down and angels started singing in that moment.

And guess what, It was not that Whin was too long in the back or incapable of  sitting on her haunches. It was quite simply that she was not forward enough and infront of the leg. I was continually trying to collect up energy that simply wasn't there.

Now this whole energy thing is very much a work in progress, but we are working on it.  Same with my leg postion, My trainer said it is much better and that my leg is being much more effective now.

We worked on Canter halts to try to prevent Whin from falling on her forhand. At first Whin was a little upset and wanted to go backward but we just calmly and quietly asked her to halt, walk and canter. after a few times she understood what we wanted and did it very nicely. 

I do have to work on keeping my right elbow bent and at my side to support her left shoulder. 

And then we even got to work on a little shoulder in and haunches in to the left we kept drifting off the rail, to the right they were super easy not a change to the way Whin was going.

So I am very happy with the training program that we are in now, Whin is happier in her training than she has been in years and although we have had some humbling moments and will have more in the near future we are slowly crawling our way forwards.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Patience Young Padawan

So Whin and I are on the right track.  My leg is doing better, I have realized that if I can feel my shin touching the girth that seems to be the right spot.

In our lesson yesterday we worked on going forward and back in the canter, with much better results than before. It seems that if I use my outside hand and follow it up with a little inside spur we collect better.  Also I need to think of the collected canter as still being big I tend to squash it a bit.   We also did some walk canter's with better success than before.  there are a few trot steps to the right but we aren't completely dying and splatting on the forehand.

Also in the trot walk transition I found that if I give an encouraging tap with the whip her hind end jumps underneath her.

We are just working on basics and my trainer says we will slowly work our way in to doing movements but hopefully they will be much easier once we fill in the holes. And who knows maybe we will finally get those flying changes that we were working so long for.

I just need to have patience!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Lesson Update

Hey all  Thougtht I would write a quick post before I forget everything that we went over in my lesson.  Went for a lesson with my trainer yesterday and it was so good. However my muscles are rebelling today.

We arrived and Whin knew she had to be on best she automatically went round (the last lesson with this trainer we really worked on working her through her whole body instead of just setting her head) And stayed there for most of the ride. So we moved on to things like my position.

It is so much easier to Fix Whins problems than it is to fix mine. Stirrups were lengthened and I was reminded frequently to keep weight in my heels even when reminding Whin not to flirt with the handsome Intermediate gelding.

Also I have mentioned on here about my rouge right hand, It wobbles all about, because my elbow isn't close enough to my side.

I also need to push my hands towards Willow at the canter and walk more.  

And boy did we go forward, I have never asked a horse to go so forward in my life. We started in the canter and and my trainer said "give her a pop" at first I was unsure what she wanted because it was a comfortable canter... then she repeated it, I figured out she wanted me to ask Whin forward, so I asked and she repeated it 2 more times, boy were we flying and the most magical thing happened, Whins harder side at the canter got more balanced and uphill.  

So lots of things to work on, mainly me... but I am just thrilled. We have been focusing so much on basics, seriously I have hardly asked for any real movements in the last couple of months, but I feel so much more confident now that Whin is really through, I think it will improve even more when I have my position and Whin going forward!

So its just after the new year and every one is making resolutions, but I feel like I am in a bit of a transition period with my riding. I would like to push on to third level but we are so unpreppared.  Some holes were discovered in my training and riding so until those are filled we need to step back from competition and really get those right.

Come show season, if we are not schooling changes I might try second level again, and attempt to redeem myself (;, but if we are schooling changes I would rather not confuse Whin with the counter canter.

In short my goals are all entirely training based. Right now they are to to continue to get Whin truly through and over the top line, and build strength. To have Whin in front of my leg, and to get weight into my heels and my rouge elbow by my side!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Still Alive

Hey all I haven't blogged in a long time, after that last so every thing sort of went out the window for the rest of the season.
I got really busy and flustered and as a result Whins brain went away and we spent the rest of the summer literally going backwards, so after some dreadful shows (please do not even tell me what I scored) we took some time to hack out and unwind, and now we are back to work.

I had a lesson with my second trainer (who had just gotten back from 2 weeks of training with Debbie McDonald, I am hoping those good riding skills seep through to me eventually.) It was a great lesson and I learned a lot, it was a bit different then usual so I wanted to blog about it before I forget. We worked  on Whin being really through an honest to the bit. I didn't realize how dishonest she was being until that lesson ( and boy does she regret that I ever learned).

My trainer had us do leg yeilds to the outside when she was honest to the outside rien then we would go straight and really let her take some nice big steps, when she lost the honesty or if she wasn't through on the inside rein we would do a Renver. 

I need to remeber to really make her be through and accepting of the bridle at the walk before I ask for anything else.
Also I need to expect more of her from the begining and even in warm up have her have a nice shape in her neck instead of just dropping her head.

So now that we are both tired and soar, we will continue on so that we can keep the connection through movements as well!

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Show Time!

I am terribly sorry I have not updated for so long, Whin and I went to a show a few weeks back on the 5th of July.

The situation was not ideal, Whin had been a bit on edge because of fireworks celebrating independence day the night before and then she went into heat. resulting in her not eating a thing that morning. And it was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Well like a trooper Whin went to the show anyways, and I felt she really did try, and we did not have the stop and pout shenanigans of last year, so I suppose I shouldn't complain... but we were not on our A game.

It felt as though the footing was molasses's.( it was actually superb footing, the facility is very nice) and poor Whin was very slow and on the forehand.
I was sure we wouldn't pull a 60%

We did a bit of mad canter in between classes to wake up a bit and I feel it helped but all in all poor Whin was hot, tired and hungry, she really was a star to make such an effort.

In the end our scores were not as miserable as I thought they would be, in fact they are scores I would take any day, we got a 66% in second level test 1 and a 64% in second level test 2. We came in first in both so, although it was not our best show Whin showed a lot of heart, and I guess the judges just can't resist that cute big old head of hers!