Sunday, February 15, 2009

Steve Holt!, week 10


Does that really say 10? Which means in 5 weeks, it's all over.

Steve Holt's week was one of repetition for the most part. More work on picking up leads, more work on consistent speed, more work on keeping his head at an acceptable level. His stride is so large and springy that it's tough to get a western jog/trot, but at least it's sit-able now.

He's also picking up his leads a bit more readily...that is until he starts to get worked a bit harder. Yesterday we were at a lesson and Curt was asking me to do a little one rein stop each time Steve Holt! picked up too much speed. This began to frustrate Steve Holt! and the leads began to come wrong. I'm not sure why everything falls apart, except that maybe he's just mentally not ready for this? Once it begins to fall apart with him, I feel it beginning to fall apart with me, so that's something I've got to work out. I think I have to listen to my instincts here and not worry so much about speed as long as it's consistent and under control. I know that the slower speed will come, and I can't let that looming deadline rattle me.

We've done a lot more trail class work this week, setting up obstacles all over the arena (and hoping that those who show up to ride while we're there don't mind!) I found a huge piece of cardboard which is doubling as a bridge. It's funny how the horses will walk over a raised wooden bridge but freak out over cardboard on the ground. Sandy refuses to walk on it; it makes funny noise and dirt scatters across it when he snorts at it. Steve Holt! hasn't got an issue with it, though, and walks over it each time.

Sidepassing is giving Steve Holt! some issues and I'm wondering if it's a calf knee thing. He just seems to bump into himself rather than getting those cross overs. To avoid knocking his legs or trying to cross over, he steps forward and backward and is always knocking into the pole. Whatever the reason, we've got to figure it out and get it corrected. There will be no finals round for horses who cannot negotiate the obstacle course!

Steve Holt! has some rubbing from his saddle pad back on his hip. This will not help us during the body conditioning portion of the competition. I've been looking at new pads, but lets face it...there's no guarantee that it won't rub, and I've got only a month to fix it. So I've decided to order a new Aussie pad and will start riding in the Aussie saddle. Anything to keep the pressure off those points. Body conditioning may only be 20% of the score, but can make or break you if the competition is close.

Darling did get a snippet of video while we did some trail yesterday, however she's yet to get it onto the computer. She was a bit obsessed with her new boots and created a video of those!

If you're planning on attending the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo, be sure to visit Steve Holt!'s official fan club store so that you're easily spotted in the crowd! Just click the photo below and go!


Rising Rainbow said...

I can't picture how you're applying the one rein stop to slow the horse down. Are you bringing him down out of the lope and then loping off??? With the young horses we're starting here we're sitting really deep in the saddle and pushing with each stride working or a rhythmic feel the horse can follow. It seems to work pretty well although sometimes finding the rhythm can be tough.

It sounds like you're having a saddle fitting problem with Steve Holt! Does the saddle tip forward when you put it on his back, or maybe when you cinch it up? It's usually a saddle fitting down too far on the wither that causes that motion in the back which in turn causes rubs. This is the problem I have with Dandy, I've become an expert on padding up a saddle to work on him. If I can help, let me know.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Tracey - went to the Steve Holt store. Why don't you sell big buttons as well as the other stuff. The buttons that you can pin on whatever you are wearing whatever day it was. I would buy 2if you did. You are doing great with Mr. Holt and will do great. I agree w/the conditioning. My conditioning score kept me out of the top 5. She was too fat. Got a conditioning sheet from my vet and she would have been a perfect 5 if he had been the judge.

Tracey said...

Lea, your wish is my command!

MiKael, I'm thinking it's partly the blanket I've been using...I put the wool one on the bottom and I'm guessing it's causing more friction. To be honest, I'm not happy riding in my western may fit Sandy better than the Billy Cook did, but I'm not liking the Equ seat. I prefer something that gives me more feel for the horse. Not that this has anything to do with the saddle or rubbing...but I may just start looking for something different to ride in for the next month, and if I adopt him back then I'll have to start shopping...again!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Can I send you a check instead of ordering thru Cafe Press. 2 large buttons plus the cheapest shipping would be 12.53. I could get it off to you tomorrow.

Tracey said...

Sorry, Lea...I don't have the buttons. They print them and ship them, I only design them. =(

froglander said...

I feel bad about showing you that saddle now :( If it doesn't work, it probably wouldn't be hard to sell it for what you paid for it. Finding that just right saddle can be such a challenge sometimes! I'm still trying to figure out if I can make it up there this week so you can see how he looks in english tack :)

Gecko said...

Don't let the deadline get into your head, you've come a very long way in 10 weeks, I cannot believe it! If I ever got an unbroken horse I may just send him/her alllll the way over there for you to train it. ;D

Tracey said...

Ha, Gecko! That would be one expensive horse by the time you got through with that, lol...

Kristi, no need to feel bad. The saddle fits Sandy, and that's who it's supposed to fit! Fits Dude, too. I really think the rubbing is partly due to the fact I had the wool pad on the bottom...more friction.