Hey yall!

Welcome! My blog is about 2/3 OTTB retraining and 1/3 newbie eventer (former hunt seat/equitation girl). Please follow along with my experiences, share insight, and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lunging, Posing, and Cantering!!

I went to the barn after work on Tuesday since I knew we'd be doing formal portraits of the horses with Brant Gamma Photography early Wednesday morning. I wanted to make sure I'd have enough time to get the horses all groomed up for the photos so I decided to stay the night at the barn. I decided to lunge Lego, since I hadn't recently and tried to photograph the workout, but it was prettttty bad with the lighting....and holding the camera with one hand and the lunge line in the other... :)
We worked on speed self-regulation as I lunged him on a slight incline due to lighting. He was pretty good. I think it was helpful for him to have to figure it out and balance himself on the downhill portion. He was actually stretching pretty well to, which is something we've been missing a little of under saddle. We also increased the amount of time trotting just a little bit.

Time: 30 minutes
Goal: Speed regulation, balancing, conditioning

Today was our long awaited photo shoot with Brant. I have been working closely with Brant Gamma and Pete this spring/summer as a photographer at regional events. Brant's level of skill and talent is AMAZING and it has been such a privilege to work with her. I have learned SO much these past few months and am eager to continue learning and shooting for her. I had actually contacted her back in the fall about coming to take portraits of the horses this spring so we could have some really awesome shots of them. We finally got our stars aligned, and although she and Pete are leaving tomorrow to go to New York she took the time to come out today and do portraits of my guys. I am so very thankful. We had a great time and I am SO excited to see the results. The anticipation is already killing me! :)

Check out Brant's webiste at http://brantgamma.exposuremanager.com/g/
After our portraits I tacked up Lego to go ride. We decided to deck him out in orange and blue in honor of the University of Virginia baseball team making it to the College World Series. Go Hoos!
So Lego and I worked on conditioning mainly today.  We warmed up at a walk for 5 minutes, then trotted for 5 minutes.  I had read about some different exercises to do while conditioning and someone suggested riding a dressage test, just at whatever pace you want instead of changing gaits.  So I trotted a dressage test (novice A) changing directions and circling, etc.  It was a great way to work on bending through corners and circles while being pretty consistent on each side through changes of direction.  I then let him have a walk break before trotting again.  He is circling much better as I continue to focus on riding both sides of the horse (Ive apparently gotten a bit lazy thanks to Chick's ease of going).  The corners are still pretty rough though but there's definitely progress in the shape and balance of the circles.  At the end of the trot I asked him for a canter going to the right and he picked up his lead perfectly.  He has a nice big, smooth canter and Im so excited to develop it more.  We cantered for about a minute or a little less and then transitioned back down through the trot to a walk.  We changed directions and did the same thing.  He isn't as consistent about his lead on the left, but he was very good during the transitions.  I am amazed at how well he relaxes back down into a walk.  I remember with Chick it was always a jig more than a walk after we'd canter when I began his retraining.  I was able to let Lego relax into a free walk on the buckle rein for a few minutes before getting back into a medium/working walk to finish up and then cool down.  I am REALLY thrilled with how this  horse is going.  He's worked four of the last five days so I'll probably give him tomorrow and *maybe* friday off (mostly because I don't think I can make it out there after work on Friday).   I made it in to work early enough today that I could take a yoga class (with my favorite instructor) so I am super excited about that!

Time: 40 minutes
Goal: Conditioning (add in canter), suppleness

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