Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tension

My hunt this weekend was rained out. Instead of crying about it (ok, maybe I cried just a little), I put together a small snippet of our dressage work this week. The camera ran out of batteries after two minutes which just goes to show you that all the whiz-bang technology in the world can't fix stupid.

Anyway, the first part of the clip is an example of the shoulder-in to haunches-in work we have been doing at the walk. It's not the best example of our work, but please notice the horse in the background. Yep, that becomes important.


In the second half of the video, I am attempting to do the same, but now the camera is from the side. Do not be fooled by Brego's head set. He may look stunning, but this work is very incorrect. The cadence of his steps is inconsistent, he is not working through his back, lots of tension in the jaw, and neither one of us are happy.

Brego had started the day relaxed (before the camera was rolling, of course), but then when the walking horse appeared, he tensed. Of course, I did not realize the presence of this horse was a problem, because we have ridden with him before. The rider is very nice and we've never had any issues. But the horse does wear chains around his pasterns which make a jingly noise which may remind Brego of a work harness, which he truly is afraid of. Regardless, this horse gaiting up behind Brego with the chains rattling fried his brain and he went from bendy and relaxed to this crappy tension stutter. His frame is NOT correct for his training and he has false elevation. It's important to see the distinction.

It took me 15 minutes of battling him to just give up and go outside. Immediate relief from Brego and I finished on two nice canter departs in the outdoor. Just another example of complacency in action. We've ridden in that indoor dozens of times, even with the same horse, so I had assumed his resistance was internal. I need to remember to always give him the benefit of the doubt, and look around to see what might be bothering him. As soon as we left the arena, I figured out what was the true problem.

The next day I just worked on easy things that required no mental energy. I rode for 15 minutes and then loved on him. He's a good boy and deserved the break.


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