Monday, October 17, 2011

Progress Report - Canter Departs

October is a very busy month for Matt and me.  First of all, it's the Keeneland Fall meet time of year.  We've been having a grand time at the races...

If you haven't been to Keeneland then you're missing out on something very special.   The best horses come from all over the country and the racing is excellent as well as the scenery and atmosphere.

We've also had weddings to photograph and well I'm trying to keep up with my progress with Ollie in between all of it.

I dragged Matt out this morning to video tape our ride so I could show all of you (as well as myself) that we're doing better. 

We struggle a bit with our left lead and at one point in the video you'll see us on the wrong lead but come back on the correct lead.  It was a lovely flying change that was completely missed on the video and which I was completely unaware of until I felt the correct lead underneath me.

I talk to Ollie often and pat him when we do well.  The verbal commands help us.  And if you're curious, I put music to this from one of my favorite artists - Sara Bareilles, "One Sweet Love."

The video is great for me to see where I'm making mistakes when I ask for canter.  Like it would help Ollie to pick up the correct lead if I had his nose tipped in rather than out when I ask for canter.  Oh well!  I do want to get another lesson with Julie soon!

And if you want to see from where we came - here's our starting point video:


  1. He's still rushing a bit into the canter, but your seat is a LOT better--you're sitting DOWN and more upright, and that is good. Sit even "heavier" into the saddle when he starts to rush and he'll have to slow even more because you won't "feel right" to him. He is good at about the 2:10 point, not rushing and looking very dressage-y.

    YOU look VERY good up there, Miz Wooley ;o) And he is obviously trying to do what you ask. Such a good boy ;oD Keep up the good work ;o)

  2. Delightful watching! Thank you so much for sharing. Your Ollie is adorable!! I Gray OTTBs are my favorite! Y'all are precious. :)

  3. Oh wow, the colors in those shots are just beautiful!

    I feel your pain with the canter departs, my boy has decided that cantering on the left lead is for suckers. I don't know what that's all about, yet...

  4. Ha! Ollie's left lead is Miles' right lead...or most likely MY right lead:) Either way, you both are adorable and have made great progress. I've sure missed your amazing race photography as well:) You have such a gift, or gifts I should say.

  5. Wow, that is so much improved. Congrats on the hard work. My suggestion for the left canter would be to ask him as you are coming out of the corner, and then it will be so much easier for him to pick up the correct lead. Also if you ask as you take the sit beat of the trot, then as he brings his outside hind through it will give him the correct canter strike off. Apart from that, I would suggest giving a half half just before you ask for the canter, and if he doesn't depart then, half halt and ask again. Make sure your aids are always clear (inside leg on the girth, outside behind) and consistent, and once you relax more through the knee you will be in a much better position to maintain that.

    He is such an honest, trying horse. He must be a delight to work with