Putting pieces together

Dixie got the weekend off mainly because I was busy but also because when I did walk out to the barn he was in a sweat and look miserable. They are not quite ready for these warmer temps.

I was so excited to get some updated pictures last night now that my hubby is home. He called at 3pm and told me he was off work and heading home to feed the horses. He hasn’t been home before 7:30pm in 5 months so I was excited. I don’t have any boarders on my farm (I do board horses but mostly canter horses or horses in training board) therefore I ride alone everyday and that is hard. I am fairly cautious about things that I am doing so I don’t crank the jumps up big or push the limits if nobody is home. Not to mention it is great to have a ground person when riding new horses so a perfect time to take on my new CANTER project now that I have a bit of help.

Dixie was a bit more resistant than he has been in previous rides but I expected him to be because of the few days he had off. I started with just walking both directions using the figure eights and leg yeilds to get him moving off both legs. He has really gotten much softer in the bridle at the walk with little resistance.

I started out trotting to the right which is his stiff side. I was really focusing on sitting taller and keeping my elbows on my side so I could offer as steady of a contact as possible and when I met resistance add leg but don’t soften my feel. I can sponge gently to get his jaw a bit softer but nothing more. You can see he is a bit braced in the neck starting out.

This is what the issues on the right side look like. He is laying on my right leg with his head cocked right and fighting my request to move over and soften on that side.

A moment later I ask him to yeild and step over with his inside hind and he softens.

The opposite of above is below the bit and he has decided that is a fun evasion so I have to work really hard and moving him around when he choses to come below/behind the bit. I will move him a bit laterally or move him forward for a few strides to get him more up in balance.

I like the balance in this picture he is actively stretching forward and seeking the contact. He might be a bit low and a tiny bit on the forehand but that is okay. He is at least seeking the contact which is a huge improvement from before.

I need to trim his tail a bit shorter..ticks!

Obvious the left side is the softer side but I have to make sure not to get to much bend so more outside aids to straighten.

Ah..the right side drives me crazy!

But I say no and keep my feel and put my legs on..the right leg should be more at the girth.

And he goes back to this! Love the fast digital cameras and my hubby who just keeps clicking so I can put these sequences together.

Around the turn he stays nicely bent around my inside leg.

Someone has a bit to much love for the left rein..lordy pictures tell all. Look how pretty he has gotten. Nice muscles, a good shine and just an overall horse who is using his body better.

I have hills in my ring 🙂

Houston we have a problem.

Some nicer moments

Oh boy 🙂 We promise to show the good, bad and ugly. I think that fits the ugly category!

This is what I tend to do wrong..trying to turn with the inside rein when he isn’t moving off the inside leg. Need to be more insistent with the inside leg at the girth pushing him over.

Laying on the inside leg so I can’t get him bent around it.

There is work to be done but I know we are headed down the right path.

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One response to “Putting pieces together

  1. I have been reading/watching what you have done with Dixie for awhile and I think you have done a wonderful job. What has prompted me to comment is that I have a 3 yr old Anglo-Trakehner that is very special to me. I owned her dam (the TB) and she passed away from freak complications following a surgery when the 3 yr old was 8 months old. I don’t have the time or skills to start her under saddle myself and I am searching for a trainer. I don’t know if that is something you ever consider doing but I also thought you may be able point me in a direction. I thought it was worth a try since I’m located in MD and you really have done a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing the journey with us.

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