Friday, January 23, 2009

Simple Changes

On Wednesday I hauled down to Curt's while he had 3 other horses out working the bull. Between sessions, they were on the rail...or at least somewhere near the rail, loping or trotting and stopping and turning. All very busy, and Steve Holt! took it in stride, walking relaxed with a dropped head. Eventually we moved into a trot, and even snuck in a lope around the arena a couple of times.

Yesterday Steve Holt! was much better about getting that halter on, and then a bit later, the bridle as well. When we hauled up to the riding club I found myself with company, as two other horses and riders hauled in shortly after me. Because he'd worked so well the day before, I didn't retreat to the round pen but stayed in the big arena. One of the riders stuck to the center working on turns and flexing and moving the shoulders and hips of her mare...all good stuff, but it forced me to wait and circle the rail before I could get any real work in. Or so I thought. We managed to start some half pass exercises along the rail as well as sneaking in some straight lines work across the arena while the other horse did smaller circles.

Once both other horses left, I asked for a lope. We missed the right lead the first two tries, which surprised me a bit, but considering the vast, wide open space of this arena it shouldn't have. Steve Holt! is still feeling more secure with his round pen rail. Once he got the right lead, we made a few circles, then dropped down to a walk for a relaxing trip around the rail. This is all new, and that rail is like a security blanket to go back to. In fact, even with broke horses, when they start getting a little jiggy on the rail, I'll pull them into the center and do a lot of circles or weaving around cones, stops and turns, as it gets them to thinking that a relaxed pace on the rail is much easier than work in the middle.

After Steve Holt! had a moment to relax, we started up the other direction. This time the lead came easy, and after a couple of circles I got to thinking he may just do a simple change for me...and he did. Nice and easy back over to that more difficult lead. A couple circles, drop to the trot and pick up the left lead again.

Being a bit of a You Tube junkie these days, I came across this training video with Les Vogt on flying changes. It breaks it down nicely, starting with positioning at the walk and then moving into the lope. For those of you who've always wondered how to master the art of a flying change (like me), you may find this particularly useful.


Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like Steve Holt! is coming along. Doing a simple lead cool!

Thanks for the video link. This is something I still need to learn. Don't know why it alludes me, but it does.

Shirley said...

Thanks for the video, Tracey. Les explains things very well, now I have some exercises I can do to teach me what Beamer already knows!