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Friday, June 4, 2010

Saddle buying and lesson recap

This was an exciting week. I sold my Prestige Top Dressage saddle and then I found a 2006 Schleese Infinity for the right price, so I bought it! Here are some pictures. The saddle should be shipping to me this morning, but it has a long way to go. It is currently located in California- the Bay Area! It mazes me what a few Internet searches will help you to come up with. Now it is just a matter of hoping these pictures are the real pictures of the saddle I bought! Always a chance when you buy things over the Internet I guess.

I had my Thursday lesson on Gram last night. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was about 70 degrees, so warm enough to feel like we got a good workout and cool enough to not dismount and feel like I was going to pass out!

We worked on more of the same, making sure that Gram understands that I am not asking her to just put her head down. Renvers is now part of our daily warm up. once she gets really over her back, then we start to ask for the true bend. It is working, it will just be a long process. Now that we have the understanding in 20m circles and down the long side, last night we worked on more of the lateral work. We started with the 10m circle and leg yield. The next step was haunches in, shoulder in. Then it was time to work the canter. We would go down the quarter line and ask for haunches in, then straight. It was funny because Gram really missed the rail at first. She was programmed in the leg yielding work. She eventually got the hang of it.

One thing I must always remember with my uber sensitive mare, is to always try to calm her down. When she gets upset, she fights. Sometimes it is as simple as just talking to her, sometimes it is giving up. I just cannot fight back. When I fight back she shuts down on me. the one thing I love about her, is that Roemer mentality that she has... she will give you everything - but the mare part puts a caveat to that statement: if she wants to. I can feel her starting to get stressed. She, like me, is a bad poker player. First, she swishes the tail, then tightens her back, then she stiffens her neck- if she is really upset she starts "talking" a grunt, or a sneeze. Now sometimes the grunt happens when she is trying very hard without the rest of it. That is not a fight, that is more "momma, is it trying, but this big body is hard to move sometimes".

I have to remember to start her trot slower but with activity behind, because she tends to want to run. Once she is in a nice place, then it is asking her for more forward. Suppling is very important in everything, beginning, during lateral work and at the end. We ended our lesson with extended trot work, keeping in mind that she must raise in the shoulder and stay light. I really started to feel her sit, in the downward while staying light in the reins. It was a great feeling. I just hope it looks as good as it feels. Hopefully, I will be able to get Donnie to video our lesson on Sunday. Then we have the horse show next weekend! Yikes!

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