Back in Business

Dixie and Ella- the barn goats

Baron got adjusted again last week and the chiro said he absolutely can’t go without back shoes. Having him shod only in the front is causing him to be off balance and throwing his sacrum and hips out. I need to have him shod all the way around or not at all. So I coughed up extra cash and had shoes put on his back feet as well. I am really hoping that with the adjustment and the shoes, he will be back to feeling well and working hard.

I had a lesson Sunday morning and my trainer and I agreed to move slowly with Baron and not jump at all right now, even crossrails. She’s excited about his potential as a hunter, and neither one of us want another setback due to injury. So for the next 30 days we’re going to fine tune our flat work and focus on teaching him to move like a hunter- long and low. In the lesson yesterday we did upward transitions, some 20 meter circles and trotting in two point. Through all of this I worked on maintaining consistent contact and keeping my hands still.

It’s easy to get caught up in his head position, but I keep reminding myself that when I ride well, he will perform well as a result. If I’m riding him from the back to the front, his head will come down as he relaxes. Mary is teaching me how to soften the reins as a reward when he lowers his head. Correct riding, even if it’s slow, will pay off. I keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race.

At one point in the lesson, we were just walking around the arena. My leg was in the right place, Baron was relaxed, his head was in that perfect hunter “on the bit” position, and my trainer said, “That’s it! Perfect! We’ve finally got a walk!” It cracks me up that I’ve had this horse for three years and the only thing show quality is our walk! But I’ll take it. We have a walk!


2 thoughts on “Back in Business

  1. amyjopik August 3, 2011 / 8:50 pm
    just as a follow up to the automatic release and the pics of the beautiful classic riders, look at this link to the hunter derby and how AWFUL the riders look. falling on the horse’s neck, lower leg parallel to the ground. i dont get it. i think the riders look terrible yet this represents the ‘best’ !!!??

  2. Jessica Boyd August 4, 2011 / 4:36 am

    I hear you! I was just reading Sally Swift’s “Centered Riding” and she says fundamentally that until you can move and get yourself (and therefore your horse) in the right place at the walk, you won’t get there at faster gaits.

    So hard to remember that when you want to go faster, though.

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