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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Questions and Answers

Over the last few post I have gotten some questions I keep meaning to answer but keep forgetting or have so much more to blog about, so I thought I would dedicate today's to answers.  Well see how it goes.

First off the arena we been riding in over at the neighbors place.  It is 80 by 200 feet.  It has lights, but we have never used them because there is Plexiglas panels on both sides and also the center of the roof.  What a difference all that natural light makes.  I think I heard it cost about $150, 000. for just the building, it is not insulated or heated, and the barn part was extra.  Not bad really.  Might even be doable at some point.  I wish it was closer to my house, but its up in Dalum, by where I board my horses.  The arena I regularly ride in is about 50 by 80, so its quite a bit smaller, but still plenty large enough to get some riding over winter in.

I was also asked about moving the shoulders, Razz has a hard time to think when her nose goes, her shoulder must follow. It makes it hard to get a decent rollback or spin if they don't do that. One thing Greg was saying was that its easier if they are already prepared for it, so in a roll back he had us take a step back until they were soft and when the inside back leg took a step back that is when to ask them so they are not having to step over that back leg to turn around. I never thought about where the feet were before but it really made a difference.

She also does not want to finish the turn before she leaves, so I had been stopping her at the end of the turn or doing a full turn but it wasn't really working well, so Greg had me take my inside rein and ask her to turn her nose the direction we want to turn, while my outside rein stays still, or if necessary moves straight back to my hip to keep her from going ahead before the turn was through.  If she was sluggish, I have to give her a good kick a couple times and then she moved the shoulder over.  Amazing how much I could control where she was at any time, kinda neat.

 It's hard to make my hands do different things at the same time though.  I used to move my outside rein the same as my inside rein which didn't work cause then I was crossing her neck which isn't good either.  So much to remember. 

I went riding yesterday and she was pretty good at rollbacks and softening, although I am gonna have to hold the softening for another second or so cause she collects then instantly puts her nose out, so hard to know when to release.  I was pretty afraid to lope, but I sucked it up and she was so good, no speediness or bracing, I think all this is transferring over to the lope, I'm so glad cause shes fun to lope (or she was before) and I don't want there to be something I don't like to do with her.  Especially if we are gonna do some reining shows this summer, I need to lope and stop, lol, that's like 3/4 of the pattern.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like it's going well, even if there is so much to remember. I hear ya on riding a horse that is fun and comfortable to lope. My previous horse was not soft at all and was very bracey. It felt like I was riding a jackhammer. lol! Apache, on the other hand lopes like a rocking chair. And along with her comfy barrel, loping on her is a blast!


Country Gal said...

Very interesting post. When I owned a horse and lived on the farm in my younger years I just rode and did some jumping never did any of what you do. I would love to try though, all though I haven't been on a horse for years would probably be very rusty at it now lol. Have a great day !

gowestferalwoman said...

Sounds like spring training has arrived ;)!

Rising Rainbow said...

Loping is a huge part of the pattern, that's for sure. It's just horses running around when they horses aren't soft and underneath themselves, but boy it is pretty when they are going smooth and soft and there's really a different rate between the big ones and little ones like they're supposed to be. I love watching a good reinging horse work. Makes me really want one.