Another day, another frozen thumb. I know, not very poetic…but I have always preferred fiction to poetry anyway. In the past week I have been productive. I rode JB not one, but TWO times for a significant amount of time. He is an awesome horse and the more I ride, the more I WANT to ride. Riding is addicting – Chips Ahoy Cookies or Cheesy Poofs -once you start, stopping is difficult. OK, the former is actually good for me, the latter – not so much.
JB is such a pickle. We are back to working on long reins and right/left & forward/back balance exercises. He likes to argue by kicking out his hind legs when the going gets difficult. He does a nice job at the walk, and now I am bumping him up to more trot work. Our spring goal is to try to be ready for a local horse show in April – 3 months. It could happen! I plan to start taking body pics as well. I am looking forward to seeing how much is body might change between now and then.
Another horse we are working with is Magic. She has all sorts of balance issues. So much so that the more we work with her, the weaker she seems. I think her weakness directly correlates with her unpredictable personality right now. I think as her body becomes more balanced she will become more stable psychologically, but I think that day is a long way off. Even after three months she still shies at random obstacles in the barn where she is ridden almost daily. Here is a pic of her with Shelby, one of my assistant trainers here at the barn.
Finally, tonight I worked with my new bestie and Honey. Honey is doing great at the walk with most of her riders, but she really fights her balance at the trot. We worked her for two hours before getting her to round her back and start to put her head down – in essence, moving her into a more collected frame her can hold herself without aids. The key to balance for all horses is the ball (the fattest part of their barrel). My goal whenever I am riding any horse is to help them move that ball forward toward their point of balance (POB) - typically that spot between the top of their tail and point of their chest. Many measure the horse from nose to tail, but that is an inaccurate measurement of the horse’s point of balance. If the horse’s body represents a table, its point of balance is the middle point between the table, not the middle point between nose and tail. If the point of balance is measured from nose to tail, the POB ends up right behind the horse’s shoulder/elbow, which in turns places more weight on the forehand. When the POB is farther back, the majority of the horse’s weight and rider’s weight can be supported by the hindquarters. Many of my riders are feeling their horses begin to find balance at the walk and it is exciting for me.
In the next week I should have Rain coming in for training. With her in the backyard, I hope to put crazy hours on her. Hopefully with the consistency she will come into her own. She is a sweet girl, I think she just needs time – like all horses.