Sunday, January 24, 2010

So What Can I Have??

Here is a posting I saw on CL. It's supposed to be a "fancy" stable in West Seattle... All I can say is WTF, but here it goes anyway.

"Rare opening in lovely West Seattle stable. 10X12 stall with 10X20 foot "patio" behind. Daily turnout in mud free paddocks with grass paddocks in season. 70X160 covered arena with 70 wall of mirrors and lighting. Board fences. Two wash areas, both with hot and cold water. Dressage instruction and clinics available. Three feedings daily. Vitamins and wormers supplied. Small friendly stable with maximum of 10 horses. Pretty gardens with vegetables and flowers. We limit horse size to 16 hands and do not take thoroughbreds. Reply to ad for further details."

Soooooooo it's a dressage barn, but the maximum horse size is 16hh?? What kind of dressage horse do you suppose you'll find under that??? And no TB's? REALLY?!?!?! Again another popular dressage standard. So I guess you can have a pony, or a Quarter horse (not that that is a problem, but come on!) as your next dressage prospect, but apparently that's it. No Warmbloods or Tb crosses, nothing with long floaty legs, heaven forbid it be too tall???? And can you define exactly what a "Patio" means for my horse? Oh perhaps the patio is just a little bit of turnout, buuuuut then why couldn't they just say that instead... Hmmm I'm at a loss. Oh well at least they have "Pretty gardens with vegetables and flowers." But that's about it. *headdesk*

Monday, January 18, 2010

Let My Face Go

At an evaluation tonight of a new student and her semi green horse I watched them ride around and around and I saw the same thing time and time again. Her horse would drop his head and she would yank his head up. I finally had to stop her and ask her why she was doing this? She answered that her horse would occasionally buck going into the canter. Well, OK, that seemed like a decent answer except that she was just trotting. So as she kept going I started to tell her to release her horse's head when he dropped it. She was hesitant at first, but I assured her he was just trying to stretch down.

After a few times I noticed her horse started to relax and really stretch neck down. Every time she tried to jerk his head back up I told her she was sending him backwards in his training. Now granted she is a little gun shy due to the fact her horse has bucked with her, but he was legitimately just truly just trying to stretch his neck and back, which would eventually help us encourage his head set.

So how can a rider, any rider, tell the difference in if their horse is just stretching or prepping for a buck?? A buck will begin with pinned ears, and a humpy, tense back. You may feel him tense in the bridle a little bit as well. He may kick out as a warning and start tossing his head. A buck is also more common during transitions, especially into the canter or lope.

When a horse is stretching, this will typically occur at the walk or a long trot, he will just gradually drop his nose down and may even bring his head up or down a couple times. Always allow your horse the option to stretch if you can. You'll feel that his back and neck will be quite relaxed and he should have a soft and supple jaw and mouth. He may even stretch or extend his gaits a little too. Once he is done stretching or you need him to bring his head back up, make it a soft gradual lift with your hands and reins so he doesn't feel you are jerking his head back up. That will only cause a hard mouthed horse and horse who doesn't or won't drop his head anymore...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome Welcome!!

Welcome to 2010! Whew I have been one busy person so far. I just moved to a new house and finally had Comcast come out and give me my Internet!! WOOHOO!!! So we are up and running for some new blogs now!!! How was all your holidays and your New Years starting out???