About Me

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USDF Region 1, United States
Rigitta is a 2005 Lipizzan mare,(Pluto II Dixana x Rheia), that I finally found Dec 2010 after a 2 year search for a Lipizzan. Many adventures and new found friends later, Rigitta and I begin our partnership and eventual dressage competitive career. Rigitta has not been started yet so this will all be from scratch just like my 2007 Dutch Warmblood, Cedar(Theo), has been. I am an over 50 Adult Amateur Dressage competitor. I am a supporter of the Nokota Horse and have owned several. ... www.nokotahorse.org ... Amy Dragoo is helping me with my Blog photos. Majority are from her. ... AK Dragoo Photography, LLC ... www.akdragoophoto.com ... You can follow her Blog here: http://akdragoophoto.squarespace.com/view-all-posts/ ... Also a shout out to Sarah Casey and Waltzing Horse Farm Berlin, New York where I got Rigitta ... http://www.waltzinghorsefarm.com/ ... Make sure you click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page to see everything that has been happening since the beginning of the adventure!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keeping the topline when things go wrong

Who was it that first said, horses' are a journey not a destination?

Rigitta is a riddle that I am slowly figuring out. She is now in her third month undersaddle and getting stronger  she is also the princess and the Pea who gets annoyed when she is uncomfortable.

I was riding her this morning and she had a fly on her belly and after a few minutes of  tale swishing and kicking at her belly she decided to go down on her knees to roll.  She only got as far as her knees and I kicked her up.  but I guess the fly was gone!

For 2 days I did not lunge her before I got on her and it did not go well.  She needs to warm up her back and her brain so I am back to lunging her in sidereins for a few minutes.  I have also put a wither pad on her to avoid pressure on her withers.  Whatever works!

She often has what Melanie calls brain farts.  Little things changing in her environment while she is being lunged or ridden make her loose her focus. ( Horses coming and going from the ring.  a parent sitting on the hill.  A lesson kid running out of the woods, a dog running by).   What she does is want to stop dead and stare at whatever it is.  Her neck goes up into her withers, her back gets blocked and her hind end goes under her.  Very difficult to ride that and to unblock her.  She gets upset with the unblocking i try so we can loose ground for ten minutes sometimes while I reogranize her brain and her body.  When this happens on the lunge the sidereins keep her in frame and the issue is gone very quickly.  Undersaddle, dealing with my weight and just the reins and my hands, she is able to get into, and stay in a "twist" as I call it.

It ocurred to me last night, that using draw reins when I ride her might give her the same correction to her topline that sidereins do on the lunge.  I do not mind that she gets distracted and I might have to re-organize her but the drama was a major pain.  I tried the drawreins this morning and it did exactly what I had hoped it would do.  Brainfart... hit the drawreins...kept her topline and her neck out from her withers and was back to work in a few seconds. neither of us got stressed about anything and we had a good training session.

Now if I can get this all week, I will know we have something positive going.

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