Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice lesson with Sharon Vander Ziel

December 21st, 2014

Jim Koford has headed south for the winter (look for him at Wellington) and I want to keep working with Canoodler. So on this winter solstice, Canoodler and I took some coaching from Sharon Vander Ziel. Sharon works for the US Dressage Federation, is active in coaching as well as conducting many clinics in the local Lexington area. She regularly comes to the barn where I keep Canoodler so I thought I'd give her a try.

I explained to her where we were, what I saw as issues and what the Canoodler team (chiropractor, masseuse, vet) saw as issues to work on.  Clearly, suppleness and strength are where we need to work.

Canoodler has a much more difficult time going to the right than going to the left. When pushed to carry himself correctly, he tires quickly. We worked for a long time at just the walk. Sharon explained the bio mechanics of where we needed his jaw and poll to be in order for the rest of his body to align correctly which in turn allows his back to be used. Then we worked a long time at trot. It's just difficult for him to hold it for any length of time. It was most obvious with our attempts at canter to the right.  In the video you will see that he only canters a few strides before falling out of it.  I had him moving so nicely at the trot at the point of asking for the transition that he lost his balance and fell apart when asked for more. Regardless, it was a small success from which to build on!  This one time where we captured the right lead was after a few failed attempts, so that's why I was excited about it.  LOL!

Here is our video - it's not very exciting but I want to document our progress.


  1. I am SO LOVING this journey of yours!! Merry Christmas and a SUPER 2015 for your entire family!

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