Horsemanship Clinic at Coyote Creek Ranch-Nov 13th

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of hosting a horsemanship clinic at my place. Terri Fox, a friend of mine and probably the smartest horse-woman I know was generous enough to come out and help the attendees, myself and Pie included.

Terri Fox Demo-ing an exercise..Terri’s website is http://www.shineofakind.com

 

I was looking forward to this, as I wanted another pair of proverbial eyes to see what Pie and I were doing (outside of my husband!) and perhaps help us along…help was an understatement for sure! πŸ™‚

Firstly, Terri suggested encorporating a simple exercise into Pie’s routine, which she felt would start getting her abit more focused on her job..She had me bend Pie’s head around and then gently push into her rear and get her to “disengage” her hindquarters..this exercise isnt new to me, as far as the disengaging hindquarter part..but the key point that Terri talked of was making the horse WAIT to move their hindquarters til you pushed on them (similar to riding). She explained that both ignoring and over reacting to disengaging the hindquarters were both forms of aversion…interesting stuff..I always was in the whole “my personal bubble” mindset..that if I just walked twards the horse’s hindend, they’d move it..the method Terri supports definantly made sense though..when thinking of how it relates to riding. πŸ™‚

Then we mounted up and proceeded to work on some lateral control (sidepassing) and some accepting of the “boundry”

The Boundry is our reins..and our legs DRIVE our horse forward into our reins..not enough boundry, the energy created with our legs “spills” out, not enough leg, you encounter resistance..there has to be a happy medium in there.

Pie did really well with this and also the sidepassing(to the right).

 

Next we moved into a lope, Terri had us do some balance exercises (standing in our stirrups, arm up, out,ect) all to increase our feel and seatbone awareness.

I explained to Terri at this time, that while better then it was, Pie’s right lead was her worse. So we did a simple exercise..lope 7 strides..walk..walk a SMALL circle..then walk HALF a small circle, sidepass over the opposite way to your original track..and lope off..

Simple enough right? πŸ˜‰

Everything went OK til I asked her to sidepass to the left. We encountered ALOT of resistance that way..and thus, Pie’s root of the problems she’s been having with that lead was found. It was the combination of asking Pie to do those few things together that brought out the resistance in her.. We worked for awhile on this exercise…and finally got her sidepassing easily both directions and loping off with a cluck! Yah, success! (and we found out Pie takes after her spanish roots..as she can ballotade very well..now if I could get her to do it on command and not as an evasive manuver! To bad the spanish riding school only takes stallions! ) I share this as I talk so highly of this pony all the time..she is not perfect..but as close to perfection as possible though! It always amazes me, no matter what horse Id riding or what Im doing, how peeling back the layers of a horse can reveal the “root” of a problem..and usually the root isnt what you are having trouble with..(Pie’s issue was not the lead, but rather my leg for example!)

After lunch we worked on basic rollback techniques..stopping, backing, and asking for a step around when the inside front foot was just leaving the ground, to establish control of the front feet..then sidepassing back to the original track. Pie did superb on this..she is SO light in her shoulders, she moves so easily..I love it.

Then finally, we worked on some turnarounds..and Pie actually did a full rotation! she moved fluidly and quietly…and did I say smooth? Holy gucamole, this mare is gonna turn, I can FEEL it..and I’d bet my boots she is able to really put some speed to it..based on what I felt.

Pie working on her turnaround..see how she is stepping over with her front? πŸ™‚ still a work in progress, but very cool!

 

Pie just stopped from a walk and preparing to back up..she is rocking back on her hocks for this.

 

Terri got on her in the end, just to feel her..she enjoyed her alot and said she is a cool little pony..she liked how soft she is, how athletic she is and her whole personality and demenor about work..she WANTS to please.

Terri on Pie

It was a great day, we made huge strides in Pie’s training and I, yet again, was so proud of her..she did fabulous, I think she learned alot. Looking forward to the next clinic with Terri after Thanksgiving!

 

Pie and I…next to my husband on our stallion, Buck.

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