dancing horses

dancing horses

Monday, May 27, 2024

Small Steps

 Riding a green bean is definitely an experience. The last green horse I rode was Steele.

Quaid reminds me a lot of Steele in many ways. Both of them are pretty easy going. Quaid worries more than Steele but tries really hard and has excellent concentration skills. Like Steele he has an 'old soul'. 

the apple trees are blooming

I've been working with him regularly just quietly building on the skills. Linda has been doing a lot of posts on what makes a horsewoman. One thing that stands out for me is to work towards being better not perfect. When I used to try to for perfect I did a lot of drilling. Now I aim for whatever I'm working on to be a bit better. I find that this pays off with a happier horse who tries (even Carmen). 

When I first started riding him at home I started on the 20 metre circle at the top of the ring. I then added in the centre. Each ride I tried to expand it. Why like that? I didn't want him to be worried about the various parts and to be tempted to gallop off. Now I can get on and walk him all over the ring. And this week we trotted the entire ring. Green horses are so honest. Not that trained horses are NOT honest. But there are lot more layers to things. With Quaid I know right away when he's trying, tired, distracted, happy, etc. He really tries to figure things out. 

Halting at X (ish)

Straightness is always fun with a green horse. I've been taking Jane's teaching to heart and making sure that my reins are not unbalancing him. I've started to introduce walking on a straight line on the quarter and center lines. It really helps him to figure out that the legs mean more than just go and to balance himself. I'll introduce trot on the quarter line soon. 

One thing I haven't done with Quaid is canter. I've been waiting for our balance to improve and to feel like we won't be flailing too much.  I wasn't worried about it, I figured the time would come. And it did this week. We were working and he was being great. It was a hot day and he had more whoa than go, which I don't mind. We were near the end and were trotting a circle and it felt right. So I sat up, grabbed a bit of mane and said 'and caanter'. He flicked an ear back and trotted faster. I stayed balanced (as best I could) and asked again with a kiss. He picked up a canter and we did about 1/2 a circle when I asked him to come back and I hopped off. 

Each ride we are building our confidence. In ourselves, in each other.  

It's fun


  1. Putting the deposits in that trust bank, one ride at a time ♥️

  2. I think with a young and green horse it's just as important to build your confidence in yourself as it for them to build their trust and confidence in you. Especially as we grow older...
    Well done- love the smile!

  3. sounds like things are going great!! i definitely know what you mean about how 'honest' these green horses can be. like, Doozy is super open about when her quarter runs out, vs charlie who is a bit more schooled to pushing thru. also i love the exercises of walking a bit off the rail, it really makes the whole 'straightness' thing so much more apparent when there's no wall acting as a crutch! i often try to literally look ahead between her ears and select the exact places in the footing where i want doozy to place her footfalls -- like, we will step on that leaf, on that divot, on that little shadow -- and it really helps kinda get us more connected on the aids

  4. That’s a smart way to bring him (and you) along. Those trot to canter transitions can bring up the emotions in our horses. I work on them a lot and now T picks up the canter without even knowing. Continuity. Small steps. Seems like a recipe for success.

    With all that contemplation of horsemanship and habits lately, it did hit me hard that I am not training Tumbleweed, I am “in training” with Tumbleweed. I think of it more as team practice nowadays. It’s as much about me, and my ability, emotions, physical fitness, all of it, —-as his.

    1. We do a lot of trot to canter in our groundwork. That is getting much softer. I like the idea of being in training with.

  5. I always need reminders to try to make it better, but it doesn't need to be perfect. I really enjoy your descriptions of Quaid, he sounds like the coolest guy.

  6. He's such a good egg! You'll be cantering laps of the ring in no time!

  7. That must have been a great feeling, knowing it was time for the canter. Quaid sounds like such a sweet honest guy. I'm so excited for you! You're doing a great job with him.

  8. All the little bits add up. I think its so much better to have a solid foundation before moving on. I do find myself sometimes hesitating to move on though. That's what lessons are for, for the trainer to push you.

  9. I love how you approached the canter with him. We also did that with D in the beginning - didn't push for it but asked him to move forward and if he broke into the canter, we gave it to him for a few strides to let him stretch out with his body. Can't wait to hear more about your progress


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