Thursday, May 23, 2024

How Its Going


I decided to make May the month of trying Warwick Schiller’s ideas to see if I could get a more relaxed and present horse.  The emphasis being less on technical stuff and more on can the horse use the whole ring easily in all three gaits and be present/focused on me the majority of the ride.  This is the criteria that WS says he uses before he goes on to any real technical work.

I have to say I am so pleased with how Cruise is going.  He responds really well to getting his focus back when a neighbor is mowing, weed eating, popping in and out of view etc. by using the turn until he flicks an ear exercise and then release and walk on.  The bend to a stop AND no release until he is present also has been really helpful.

Canters still look like this sometimes but he easily bends to a stop.  More importantly he seems to be going more easily from a Sympathetic to a Para Sympathetic state.  He’s just not getting as wound up in general but when he does, he seems to come back down more easily.

A lot of our canters look more like this, which I am loving.  We definitely need to work on longer canters but the upward transitions are much more relaxed.  I think duration with relaxation is just going to take some time.

I feel like the walk work and the trot work is pretty solid.  He is so much better about distractions and returning his focus to me and being present.  The flexion at a standstill, bend to a stop, and yield the hindquarters from a flexion, and halt with back up a few steps have all led to a straighter and more balanced horse.  

So the plan in to continue on with this type of work until we have longer duration canters using the whole ring.  I’d also like to carry a touch more forward in the walk and trot without swinging over to the Sympathetic side of things.  I think it will be a couple of more weeks.  Then we’ll start polishing things up and do the Training Level tests with Dressage Show Online.  I’d like to get him field riding better using the same principles and then it will be time for field trips in the trailer.  Everything will take as long as it takes.  I’m really enjoying every ride.  He is such a cool horse.  

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