I Haven’t Given A Meaca Update In A While!
Yesterday, Meaca was in a mood! The ride started off with him half trotting and half cantering, stepping on trot poles with his head up like a giraffe. Not a pretty picture!
Luckily, Megan is a good rider, who understands that no matter what you plan, sometimes your horse will tell you it would be best to reevaluate.
The plan had been to work on trot poles with him. He tends to be inconsistent in his trot stride and not super aware of himself. We were hoping that the trot poles may help with this. Meaca was not having it. He was too tense and argumentative and the exercise became counterproductive.
So Now What?
Since the game plan had to change, Megan worked Meaca in big loopy circles with lots of changes of direction. He always needs work in circles to keep improving his bend. As well as balancing and not dropping his shoulder in and down when he circles.
After a few minutes of this, it really seemed to calm his mind and get him focusing. He became a lot less tense and began to soften his jaw, lift his back and work from behind into a frame.
Carrying himself in a proper frame is still a new thing for him. Yesterday, he did his best flatwork he ever has done. Despite the fact that our plan had to be shelved for the day. Meg.an rode the horse she had under her and did what it was that needed to be done on that particular day. Fighting with horses never gets you anywhere. Besides a frustrated horse and rider. I believe that when it becomes tense and horse and rider are not speaking the same language, it is best to go back to basics again. Get back to understanding each other and end on a good note. That is what we did with Meaca yesterday.
Successful End To The Ride
You can see that Megan is riding him on a soft, slightly longer than normal contact. This is the right thing to do in this situation since he was already tense and reluctant to move forward in the first place.
You can see her hands are always trying to keep connected, no matter where his head goes. Her hands follow his head and neck gently so he realizes that the comfortable place and the soft place is when goes with his back up and head down.
Obviously, her hands are lower and wider than the “correct” position”. Once he gets better at understanding what we want, she will bring her hands back up to the “right” spot. In my opinion, when training a horse, obviously riding correctly makes it so you can be in a place to best influence the horse. But…when you aren’t speaking the same language as your horse. When both horse and rider are getting frustrated with each other, sometimes we have to make changes to help the horse understand. Once he understands, you can get technical. When training, in my opinion, communicating with the horse what you want clearly. Without creating tension is the goal and most important thing.
Teaching Meaca to stay in a frame at the walk and trot. We are working on the trot and send him forward, he still is confused when you put leg on at the trot. He always thinks we want him to canter. So basically, we want to continue to help him understand forward into contact. Of course, we will keep working on bending, that is a given! Lastly, we would like to incorporate small jumps and work over poles, just to keep him interested.
Meaca is like a little boy in kindergarten. If he doesn’t understand what you want he acts distracted and silly. The more we can keep him interested in his work, the better! I mean come on, he used to be a racehorse, trotting in circles with his head down is pretty lame to him!
Keep On Keepin’ On
Meaca is a good horse and continues to progress each time we school him. We are going to keep on keepin’ on with him and you can bet I will keep you up to date on the progress!