This is the story of my quest to train my three Dales Ponies for classical dressage, primarily by using Alexandra Kurland's clicker training methods, with a touch of others such as Philippe Karl and Anja Beran thrown in. I turned to clicker training because I had come up against some issues that I didn't know how to fix and because I wanted to inspire them to become enthusiatic partners. Bella and Jack are all my own work and have never been ridden by anyone else.
Monday, 19 January 2009
First Time Evers.
I am still working Jack in hand and the hover I have been building into his front feet, with the Monty Python stuff, is finally beginning to really surface in trot and today, for the first time ever, I had the beginnings of real elevation in his trot to click. He looked so impressive because there is so much of him to elevate! I'm really missing riding him but concentrating on in hand is paying off. The sarcoid on his girth line has now started to peel away on one side and has lost about a third of it's area of attachment so I'm still hoping it will fall off without treatment.
With Grace I got some perfect downward transitions for the first time ever. The breakthrough was watching Philippe Karl and reading 'Twisted Truths' which made me realise that she needed to raise her head but I had to explain to her that she should do it by lifting through the top of her neck and withers, instead of contracting the top of her neck and hollowing her back.
I have been explaining this to her by lifting the back of my own neck and 'withers' and she has 'got' this so well now that I can often stop her instantly by doing this alone. She feels like a totally different horse when she halts like this - there's an elegance to her top line which looks and feels beautiful from on board. I need to get some photos taken to confirm what I'm feeling. This has improved her rein back as well, and she feels as though she has suddenly taken a massive leap forward in terms of balance and engagement, and all the previous jerkiness has suddenly vanished from her upward transitions too. Everything feels smooth and easy. If I could just add in some more elevation to her paces....
Riding Bella was the most exciting part of the day for me. Bella performed her first ever steps of Spanish Walk under saddle and I got to ride my first ever steps. It felt SO weird! I have to really think of sitting towards one hind leg and then the other, to free up the opposite shoulder enough. I wonder if it feels a bit like one time tempi changes do? I felt as though I was sitting on a horse for the first time, it felt so different and alien to sit, but it's very exciting and she puts SO much effort into it. I had to race into the house and tell OH afterwards, I was so excited!
Another dream come true. I never, ever really thought that I'd be able to train my own cobby Dales pony to do Spanish Walk with me in the saddle, and it's happening by my just lifting the reins alternately and saying "Spanish"!!!
With the discussions we've been having in 'comments' I was wondering today what attracted everyone else to looking at alternate ways of training their horses? With me it was a free Parelli DVD in a magazine. I loved the liberty work and raced out to try it with Bella in the field (even though it said not to begin with liberty work!). Bella seemed to like it too and I loved the idea of being able to really 'play' with her, so I had to know more and bought the 'Level' packs.
What inspired everyone else to look outside traditional methods?
Oh, and the other reason I've had a really good day is because I've managed to install a new USB network adapter! The last one had packed up and this one is faster and I managed it almost single handed! It might not be much of an achievment for Bill Gates but for me it's massive!!!!
- Motivation of Dressage Horses - Richard Hinrichs
- Taking Stock.
- Snowy Days.
- Photo Albums 2008.
- Snowy Days Photos.
- Frosty Photos.
- Philippe Karl Style Flexions.
- Giving the Horse a Voice.
- Aspirations and Expectations.
- First Time Evers.
- I found these clips on You tube yesterday and they...
- Russell's Story.
- Saddle Fitting.
- Photos of my Pones Backs.
- My Little Helper.
- ▼ January (15)