Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Huey and Flash cross country video

Huey's kinda hard to see, but my impression is of a very willing performance. No hesitation; just getting the job done.

I don't know much about jumping, but even I can tell that Flash is being pretty darn challenging! Best comments: "Is that her? "Mmm hmm" "Holy moly!" -- and -- "Finishing neck and neck as they come to the last fence . . ." Flash was not lollygagging.

Willow over fences (video)

I just got this video of Willow jumping -- the first time I've ever seen her in action jumping, except for a picture. Something's wrong with the video quality, but you can still get a good idea of how she's going. I think she looks happy, happy, happy! Trainer Gwen says she is rhythmical and honest to the jumps, and Gwen thinks she will tighten her knees as the jumps get higher. Willow is 16.3, so she can pretty much step over the jump at that height.

I am asking $4500 for her, btw, and she is located in Dubach, LA.

Huey got 7th place at a rated event this past weekend! Go, Mr. H! Apparently his dressage was a wreck, unfortunately. Distracted, tight, and all-around thoroughbredy. Oh well, he jumped his heart out. I should have some video soon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cool canter exercise

I tried a cool canter exercise out with Huey the other night -- one that I learned from Wolfgang a long time ago. It can be used as a baby step towards schooling canter pirouette. I seem to remember that when I learned this exercise I trotted it at first, to get the feel for the pattern.

In this exercise you ride the whole figure on the same lead. So, you pick up the right lead where the arrow is (you're in counter canter to the wall). In the corner you circle right as small as you can for three-quarters of a circle, sending you onto your next straight line, lather, rinse, repeat, all the way around the square. As the horse's collection increases, you can decrease the size of each 3/4 circle, and theoretically eventually achieve 3/4 pirouettes at the corners.

Huey's first response to this was "go fast!" Which is his first response to anything new and/or difficult. This exercise makes use of the corners as half halts, so you don't have to rely on your hands. It didn't take long for Huey to realize that blasting down the straightaways wasn't getting him out of anything, and he slowed down and seemed to enjoy the exercise. Left got very easy; right needs some more work.