Friday, May 6, 2011

Great Horse, Great Owner

I must also say here that Wimbley’s owner, Edie, is one of the best clients ever. When I first assessed Wimbley as a dressage horse, I asked her what her goals were for Wimbley. She said, “I just think he has a great personality, and I want to see how his training comes along. I don’t have a plan for him to be fancy dressage horse, or get all the way to the top, but if he can, let’s just see where it goes.”

I also asked her if she planned to train him to obe sold, or to be her personal riding horse, or what, and she said she just wanted to see how far he could go; no time constraints, no pressure to sell him.
There is no better set of circumstances for a horse (or for a trainer). There is no pressure to push him too fast, to compete him before he is ready, or at a level higher than he is comfortable with. There is no pressure to find a buyer for him, or to make him ride-able for Edie (even though he is, and I tell her all the time that she can ride him if she wants to). This is the best of all worlds.

In February, I started asking for more reliability in the transitions, smaller circles in the trot and canter, transitions from left to right and back again on smaller circles and serpentines in trot, a few steps of sitting trot at a time, more engagement in the canter transitions and to stay more on the bit and come up through the shoulder for more jump into the canter.
We also worked on lengthening a little in the trot, and shortening the strides of trot a few at a time—making almost the transition to walk, and then trotting on. This works very well for strengthening the connection. We also started with a few steps of real leg yield in trot.

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