Sunday, August 30, 2009

More on collection

While Steve was riding Lena and I was trying not to hover, Bar and I worked some more on his body position in the round pen.

I have noticed he is less relaxed going to the right, with the bowed tendon leg on the inside of the circle. He is also a bit shorter on the right side, and I'm sure it's all connected. Just have to keep working and keep stretching.

BUT, we are making progress. The first series (again, sorry for the blurriness/graininess--it's really hard to take a good picture in the indoor arena) is Bar going to the left. You can see he has good extension, even with his head all up in the air, but I'm starting to really be able to see when the engagement starts to happen much better.

Here is a bit more engagement happening:

Now to the right, where it takes him a lot longer to relax and get into the groove of things:

And a tiny bit of improvement, including his tongue sticking out--which means there was licking and chewing--a sign he was relaxing:

Then we had to stop because Peter came in to lunge another horse, but I do feel like we're getting here, albeit on the slow-but-sure path.


The Equus Ink said...

I was looking at Bar's pics, he has a toe-first landing? Did you notice that? I've been doing research about this and just noticed it in his pics.

Jessica said...

Hi, Keri.

I did notice his toe-first landing, yes! Mostly going to the right on the bowed tendon leg, but that's probably because I pay more attention to that leg.

Because of the bow on the right and the upright foot on the left, I think that's his tendency and what the tendons have been doing a long time with their respective tightness.

My friend Karen, the masseuse, said it can get better the more fit he is, and I'm doing work on his flexibility with massage and stretching, too.

He's obviously not going to be a show horse, but I am already seeing a difference in his movement, strength, and balance, so am going to keep plugging away with him.

He's amazingly sure footed on the trail, interestingly enough. Even when he gets tired, even going downhill! My goal is to get him more balanced in the arena so he's more confident there and safer to ride all around.