Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Boys Rock!

End of the year and lots to do...

But I will always make time for my boys! Therefore, yesterday was lesson day for both Toby and Hola. It was the first time since my clinic lesson that I rode with Betsy. So I was focusing on the items I was working on with Maryal (sitting back on my seatbone, using my core muscles better, etc.) I think I've improved my riding position quite a bit. I kept myself back in the saddle which amazingly helps Toby to balance himself through the corners of the indoor arena. Toby is so long which makes me feel like I'm driving a big old Cadillac around. The first part of the lesson had me sweating boatloads because I had to work so hard to keep Toby moving forward. Then eventually he met me half way and our ride went so much better! Amazing how that happens. At any rate, for the first time in a long time, I had Toby steaming after a lesson and I've improved my seat and body position a ton. Betsy seemed very happy with both of us!

Then Betsy got on Hola. I had told her I was having problems getting him to stand at the mounting block. I know, you I can hear you guys thinking "oh he's walking away as soon as you try to mount"... well no. That's not it at all! He'll stand there, pretty as can be UNTIL you put your foot in the stirrup and then he goes in reverse. So Betsy worked on him getting "reverse" out of his system. The minute he tried to go backwards, she would force him forward and make him walk around the mounting block. After awhile, he finally stood still while she got on but it took a good long time. So it's my job to work on this with him. Seems easy enough to do.

Once Betsy got on Hola, he ended up being spooked by the frost on the mirrors in the arena. So Betsy let him sniff out the scentless horse through the frost and he settled down. You just never know what's going to get his heart racing. Betsy couldn't believe how much his heart was pounding! Silly guy. But if you let him check it out, then that's the end of his antics. He's ready to go to work! I love that about him...

In Hola's last lesson, he showed us that he drops his right shoulder big time when he is going to the right. Well I'm happy to report that he remembered his previous lesson and, in dramatic fashion, was easily corrected. With just a minor touch of the inside leg to ask him to pick up his shoulder, Hola would pick up the shoulder and FLING his legs to the outside with incredible flair. It's funny to watch.

Hola tries so hard to please us. So far, our patience with him has paid off big time. I don't think most people would have been so patient with him. We have and it's paying us big dividends now. He has great trust with us. Knock on wood, he hasn't once reared or bucked when he's gotten frustrated by what we were asking of him. And when he's marching along in the arena, he puts himself into a lovely frame with out much asking. He seems happiest when we don't bother his mouth too much so when he's round, floaty and balanced Betsy leaves him alone - and away he goes looking gorgeous! It's been so much fun to work with him.

And I just love his childish behavior although his turnout pals don't seem to...

hola and toby

hola and toby - so proud of my boys...


  1. Great play shots! Sounds like great lessons, too. No riding here; our sand arena is frozen hard as concrete. Brrr!

  2. Hola sounds a lot like Salem -- great TB work ethic!
    At first, I had problems getting Salem to stand still while I got on, as well. I was patient with him and would give him a peppermint every time he stood still the whole time. Now, he stands like a statue (he will do anything for a peppermint!).
    Love the play pics!

  3. Good pix, good lesson reports, and sounds like the mens are GETTING it. ;o) Of course, you're "getting it," too, and that is also a good thing.

    I'm not riding yet (still in the sling), but I did audit a clinic yesterday at a beautiful facility. The clinician was Bert Ruttan who is from Holland and was the chef d'equipe for the Dutch Olympic team in 2000 or 2004. Wonderful riding, gorgeous horses and Bert's aromatic pipe smoke. I had a perfect day, too.

    Manners during mounting: Extremely important. I had to work with Huey on that very thing. Lots of days where all I did was mount up and then sit. He'd prance and dance once I got on; I'd get off and we'd start again. He needed to learn that not EVERY saddling up was accompanied by GOING somewhere ;oD

  4. You have done a lovely job with Hola (and I presume with Toby as well, but I've followed Hola since the beginning). Hopefully, he won't ever rear. My OTTB bucked occasionally, but she was lousy at it. She never, ever tried to rear.

    Her daughter, on the other hand...