Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just When You Think It's Going Great...

Hola C Bright

I took a lesson on Toby and had Betsy work Hola this past Tuesday.

Toby was great! He had a ton of impulsion and as he warmed up he became very round and stretchy. I love to ride a stretchy horse. A stretchy horse has such a cool feel and relaxed swinging back.

I hadn't had a lesson on Toby in a little while because I was gone one week and then when I came back Toby seemed to be ever so slightly punky. He was eating but his poops were on the loose side. So to be safe, he had the time off. Now he's back - fit, happy and healthy. He had a lot of enthusiasm for his work which was very refreshing. So we started to work on leg yields with him for the first time. Toby needs a lot of help from the rider to keep his long body balanced and when I did that he was great. He's easier at leg yielding to the left than to the right but everyone has their bad direction. We just started and next time I hope to video tape and show you our progress.

Hola was another story. He had been doing very well. He's figured out how to work on the longe line and he has been settling down both with his manners and his ground work. That is, until I said something about how good he was doing. Then he seemed to slowly fall apart but by the end of the lesson he got it back together.

I have a good friend of mine I used to play golf with often. She would NEVER say anything to me after I hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway. That is, not until I hit a good second shot when she would say, "you hit a nice drive back there." I asked her about this. She said, "You should never compliment a good drive until you've hit the second shot because what's the point of a good drive if you can't hit the second shot."

I think that's an important concept for the next time I begin thinking Hola is being good. I'll be sure to wait to say something until after he's done and not right in the middle of his lesson!


  1. Ah, welcome to the club ;o) Our "children" make liars of us every now and then to keep us in line (and remind us who REALLY is in charge ;o) Ollie obviously feels good and obviously LOVING his job, so he can be forgiven a little "falling apart" now and then. My guy does it to me all the time. Good news on Toby, too. Leg yields seem so easy--on paper ;o)--but when you actually ride them, not so much. I find the second one is always better than the first one--just because it's the SECOND one ;oD

  2. Hi. I think this wee bit of disobedience does show how smart he is. Round and round in circles - he can't see the point. Seriously bored! How about chucking in some transitions when he disobeys and see if that gets rid of his resistance? I'd be ticked off too! fellow dressage enthusiast...