Thursday, November 17, 2011


Awful!  That's what we were today.  AWFUL!

I had a very fresh horse who kept trying to think for me.  He was all about cantering when we went to a corner.  Going straight wasn't easy and occasionally we could actually halt at X. He was just busy, busy, busy.

I rode him and I cantered him around to get the edge off.  I STILL can't keep my seat in the saddle.   I get so aggravated with myself.  I'm trying!  I really am!  Sometimes I can do it but I just can't maintain it.  I have to think of myself as a jellyfish in order to do it. 

At any rate, I'm committed to showing on the 3rd and by George we'll do it come hell or high water.  We guarantee to help any others who may be competing in the Intro levels.  I even video taped our best effort this morning.  Truly - it's our best effort for today.  We were pathetic!  Ollie just had "GO!" on his mind.  In hindsight I should have lunged him first.  I have to remind myself that he's like Amos.  Amos, our not yet 2 yr old lab mix, needs to run around and get his yahoo's out before we work on obedience training.  Otherwise he just can't listen.  He just wants to play and go!  Ollie's the exact same way.  If I want a good citizen then I need to let him get out some energy to get there.

Note to self, ride him a good long time before we go in for our tests at the show...

So here is our video for this month.  It's not pretty but he's SO CUTE when he goes well if even for a few strides...  The song is by one of my favorite artists K T Tunstall (think Black horse and a Cherry tree song) - Hopeless!


  1. I watched your video (and you looked GREAT!!) and had two thoughts about Ollie: Teeth and bit. He doesn't act so much "fresh" as there is something in or about his mouth that is bothering him. Has he seen a dentist recently? What kind/size bit are you using?

    I know you're not planning to ride him in warmup at the show using the martingale--not sure about KY, but here in CA we cannot warm up using any sort of training aid. When lungeing, we can use side reins, and it might be smart to lunge him before every ride between now and the show using side reins. However, don't count on lungeing to "wear him down." I've learned that TBs don't "wear down" much ;o)

    I took a lesson last Sunday and my Huey was in touch with his inner giraffe--a LOT. Eventually he settled because he realized he was "back at his old job," and we had a FABULOUS lesson (he was SUCH a good boy!) Ended with big wet spots in front of the saddle on either side of his neck--meaning I was riding him with the correct contact, at least most of the time ;o)

    I did not lunge because that would be inviting trouble--but Huey is also 17 years old ;o)


  2. Ollie's mouthy reaction is one of his outward reactions to being impatient. He wanted to canter round and round. I wanted whoa. When my seat alone isn't getting whoa, then I add rein contact. He starts to fuss with me to protest (hind end trying to pass the front is another example). I think it's just that we weren't on the same page with each other today. Having said that, I am aware of it. As an FYI, I use a fat rubber snaffle on him:

    I had the vet out last Saturday to scope Ollie and check for other problems which could cause his choking. We checked teeth, muscles, etc. Teeth were fine but will probably need to be floated by Springtime. In fact, we found nothing wrong physically with him.

    I often remind myself that his racing trainer called him Chuckie because he was scary on the track. Maybe today he was having a "Chuckie Moment."

  3. He's just unsteady on the contact that's all, and is to be expected at this point in his training. Just be happy for the moments where he becomes round and relaxes. It is a process, don't take shortcuts for instant gratification, you need to build the correct foundation for the more advanced work. When you get are riding PSG on your OTTB you will be glad you took the extra time!

  4. Step by step, you're getting there! How does he react if you take a little more contact?

  5. More contact = more resistance from him. When he's settled and composed he takes the contact well. When he is "Bill The Cat - reincarnate" he can't take hardly any contact at all. He gets claustrophobic and panics.