Saturday, December 3, 2011

Attention Shoppers....

... we now carry a right bend!  Yes, yoou heard me correctly.  Not only can we actually get a true right bend, but we can carry ourselves too.
To start at the beginning, Cadence was better last night but not perfect.  I could get some bend/give to the right, but she never totally gave it.  Its like she wasn't really moving through that right side.  Make sense?  I hope so... it's a little difficult to put into words.  Today my lesson started off in much the same manner, except that we had a little more give to the right than previously.  Then, about a third of the way through the lesson, she was grabbign and laying so we halted and rattled her off it, then asked for the bend.  Bam!  We had a right bend.  Like a true I will give and bend my nose to your stirrup if you want me to right bend. Even better?  We were able to keep it through the rest of the ride without much fuss (there was a little resistance after the canter) AND she was now carrying herself and not laying on me.  What an awesome mare :)
We'd started off the ride with the clammer in (wrapped in vetwrap to make it softer for her!  The things people come up with...) and took it off at the end of the ride to make sure we still had the bend.  She was totally loose and jiggly in a way that I've never seen her before.  We also were able to get a little more push from behind once that neck (and subsequently back) unlocked for me.  I could truly get her working back to front!  Honestly, I don't think she's ever been so free and bendable as she was today.  It was a lovely feeling.


  1. The biggest, most frustrating conversation with horses is "If you will just do it MY WAY, it will be easier than your (sucked back, giraffe style, leaning on my hands)way."
    And then one day they go...."HEY!!! did you know YOUR way is easier? I like it."

    Congrats to Cadence for finding the light switch and to you for being patient and persistent.

  2. that's good to hear. I'm guessing she had some stiffness in her left side that has gradually loosened up. It's hard when they can't tell us why they won't do what we ask of them:)
    Thanks for your kind comment on my last post, it really cheered me up!

  3. I'm training a baby right now that has only been used for polo, so bring me some dressage basics STAT! I've been working on getting bends each direction, and I live for the golden moment when she goes "ah, I get it, OK" and gives me a soft poll and head on the vertical in her bend... for all of three walk steps :)

  4. Barb- That pretty much sounds like Cadence, except for instead of throwing her head she holds the bit and locks her jaw like a vice grip. Everyone that's ridden her says 'Wow, for such a small horse she's REALLY strong. I couldn't believe it!'

    Horsemom- I think that's pretty much accurate. Up until this point, her 'right bend' has really just been straightening her and loosening her up. However, now she's at a point where she can actually get a right bend.

    Corinna, Cadence was a lot like that when I got her. She really only had baby stuff on her, so frame, working back to front, bend, & all of that fun stuff meant nothing to her. She picked it up really quickly, but I had t he advantage of not needing to do much re-training. A few bad habits to correct + some work on her existing gaits (as I said... really green). Re-train projects are a lot more difficult. My pony would walk around the ring for 5 or 6 laps before he'd give... and he'd hold it for about 2 seconds before diving his nose down, and then throwing it back up in the air. Oh pony :)