Sunday, January 25, 2015

Working on Working Equitation

Ranae are doing a Working Equitation schooling show in March.  We'll be reporting on it in an upcoming Whoa Podcast.  We worked on some of the dressage test out back today.  The instructions are fairly confusing.  We broke things down into small chunks so we could work on a few of the maneuvers we'll need.  One was trotting in a straight line from one spot to another. Then there were the 20 meter circles.  Oh yeah, those are going to be fun.  I had the curb bit in Jessie and it really brought out the shiny spots in her lack of training.

The other thing we worked on was taking off at a trot.  Not a few steps and a trot.  A trot.  Boy, just trying this stuff helps you realize how lackadaisical you can become.

It was a cool day.  The fog had hung in most of the morning and it really didn't look like we would be able to ride.  For a different Whoa Podcast, we are meeting up with the NorCal Downunder Brumbies, a Downunder Horsemanship group.  I'll be doing a demo on the mounting block exercise at the Bar SZ Ranch over Memorial Day Weekend.

I needed to brush up on some (make that all) of my skills.  Our neighbor keeps three horses back behind our property.  One is an older Arab, Gunner, one is her riding horse, Charlie, and the last one is a real sensitive mare she hardly rides named Frosty.  I asked her if I could work Frosty and she said it was okay.

We started at the beginning with desensitization, flexing, lunging, yielding, and the sending exercise.  It was quite fun being back out there again doing the basic exercises.  After working Frosty, Jessie and I ran through the same exercises.  It's really interesting to see how the two different horses handle everything.

Back to the Working Equitation warm up.  After we had worked on the dressage for awhile I asked Ranae if she wanted to try jumping some barrels.  Part of the Working Equitation Novice level will include jumping something "no higher than a bale of hay".  We had a few 55 gal blue barrels and decided to give it a try.

First, we put the lead lines on Dusty and I sent him from the ground over the barrels.  Good job.  We went both directions.  I don't think we had had him jump anything in a year.  Then, with the lead still attached, Ranae got on and I directed Dusty to jump again.  A couple of times over and Ranae was in the comfort zone and we put on the bridle.  She and Dusty went over great.

Then we repeated the process with Jessie.  It was fun being able to jump the barrels having to only worry about hanging on.  Well, I did give her some leg to get her moving.  It gives you a lot of confidence before trying with the bridle in.  Now I think we will be able to go a fair job on most any jump.  We still have a lot of things to work on, but we have got a good start to the New Year!
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