Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seasonal Greetings!


Have a wonderful Christmas and a lovely New Years - we are celebrating with our family, than going away for a trip to see the great grandparents (my grandparents) and a few days at the beach.  Copper will get another holiday that he doesn’t need, but oh well.  It will be fun - I’m looking forwards to it.  I’ll see you in 2014!

See ya,


Good ride, good ride, BAD ride!


We have been having really good rides recently; Copper has started to soften his back while trotting for a few strides here and there (this is a BIG thing for him, being an ex-trotter, he really finds that hard and definitely prefers to power around with a locked neck, shoulders and back).  I’ve been riding in two point quite a lot to encourage this, and avoiding 20 meter circles because he just locks up when I ask him to do a full circle.

But – and here it is – the other day we had a perfectly terrible ride.  I thought I’d ride in the jump paddock for a change of scenery to the arena and to see where he was at in preparation for starting some jumping work as we haven’t jumped in - *thinks* yup, years.

That didn’t work.  Our ride quickly dissolved into a pulling battle, arguing about what speed we were going to go at. He wanted to canter, and I didn’t, so he was racing around with a locked neck at a hundred miles an hour.  I ended up hanging onto his face, because no matter how and which way I tried softening up on the reins, he just didn’t want to go slower than full pelt! 

We did canter a bit, and I managed to get a nice, soft canter, but as soon as we dropped back to a trot it all fell to pieces again.  I tried serpentines, 10 meter figure of eights, trot-halt-back up-trot transitions.  No beuno.  He wasn’t having any of it.

The goal was a soft trot (not necessarily slow, as that is harder, but soft so that I knew he was using his back properly and not resisting) on a longer rein for a more open frame.  I did not come even close to achieving that. *sigh*

So I tightened the contact and at least I could stop him from running off, but relaxed it was not.  So we went out on a trail ride.  Still trying to achieve the soft, rhythmical trot – still getting no where.  Ugh.  At this stage I was just glad that at least at the end of the trail we had some half-decent lateral movements and I could call it a day on a semi-positive note.

Sheesh!  That was not pretty.

Lesson Learnt:  Copper does NOT do “ride it out”.  If he’s tense, I can’t just ride him around and around until he relaxes.  It won’t work.  I will be exhausted long before he is, and that’s just trouble.

I need to engage his brain to get him thinking, rather than just racing around. Figures are good, but his balance is pretty good so they have to be darn tight to slow him down. And if they are too hard, he’ll just break into a canter, which defeats the purpose.

Take Away:  What I’m taking away from this is that Copper needs to engage his brain when he’s rushing – regardless of whether it’s caused by him being anxious or over-eager.  Lateral work is the best thing for this. This will be applicable knowledge for taking him to shows.

Where to now?  Well, we need to get that trot SORTED before I can start jumping.  His canter is good, and I suppose I could just canter around the place and ignore the mess that is trot, but I don’t know how productive that’s going to be, and frankly, I personally hate ‘moving up’ gaits before basics are established. And a controlled, relaxed, rhythmical trot is pretty darn basic. Anyone have any clues on how to help a trotter forget their training?? :/

I’ll keep plugging away.

See ya,


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Joey at his new home

So Facebook is a wonderful and terrible invention – I’ve kept in touch with the young girl (through her mentor) who purchased Joey. I saw some pictures of him today and he looks happy. Though I am glad for news of how his doing, I have to be honest. It hurts.

Apparently, he loves the bush trail riding, he’s jumping logs, and is making a great team with his new owner. That makes me happy – I’d hate for it not to be working out for him, but ouch…

My Joey Boy

I still miss him. *sniff* It’s awful.

See ya,


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