Henry’s Chat Thread

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by CarlisleChipper, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    I’ve decided to consolidate my posts about Henry here for now. I will start his own in the competition sub thread when we do our first show together next month!

    We had a blast together this week! We were able to ride Monday through Friday. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden him every single day since I’ve bought him. This was great for us because we also got lessons 4 days out of the 5.
    On Monday we had our first cross country outing together, I already posted about this. There was a lot of bucking involved due to him being fresh, feeling comfortable since his assumed ulcers are being treated, etc. It was my first time in 9 years to have a cross country lesson. My 2nd ever. I learned how to bridge my reins here but didn’t ever put it to use. I mainly just shocked some pony club kids that went home quoting me to their parents! “This is the jump where I die!” “Jesus take the reins!” As my strength to sit his bucks dwindled and he got more and more amped up. We ended on a good note though.
    Tuesday we did a dressage lesson where I hooked my outside pinky finger through the saddle pad strap to work on a steady outside rein contact. Boy he is a different horse when I am properly using my outside aids. His vet also came out to do a farm call so while she was there I gave them a sample for a fecal test for him since I was concerned about parasites. He was dewormed 6 weeks before I bought him mid August and I was going to work in conjunction with the barn I ride at. Well still nothing so I just felt uncomfortable waiting much longer. His results came back intermediate shedding for strongyles. So we treated him for that as well as the rest of his pasture buddies. I also googled some scary stuff about strongyles and aneurisms and that is how supposedly Carlisle died a few years ago so now I’m wondering if he had complications from those worms. Annnnyways.
    Wednesday we went back out cross country where we did our first trot canter conditioning sets. I went out with my trainer on her 5 year old thoroughbred. It felt great to let Henry get into a working canter that I felt in control of. I also heard how differently he breathes as he regulates his breathing in time with his canter strides, it was very neat! Everything was great up until the end when he was chomping at the bit ready to go and I wanted more regulation of his go button. Of course when I lost my nerve I hung onto his face instead of half halting and releasing, so his only way out was up with his head - zero control! No reading but it felt like I could go backwards at any moment. So that made me even more anxious and him too. We decided to walk the last small cross rail and get him to go quietly at a trot. Someone also told me that schooling cross country is often more difficult than just going out and doing it, in the reference to a horse getting amped up. The start and stop nature of schooling.

    Thursday we worked alone for about 30 minutes doing what we learned on Tuesday. My video shows me that when I think I have enough contact, I need more.

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    I also tried to clip him. I’ve never clipped before but I watched several YouTube videos. I don’t think he has ever clipped before either. So I think this was a good go for our first time. He half heartedly set back when I got close to his head. So I worked a few more minutes and ended on a good note. My clippers were getting warm and I forgot about the clipper cooling spray. I’m hoping that exposure therapy will eventually desensitize him enough for me to do all the spots I want. Like his bridle path and under his jaw, but not his whiskers of course. It’s hard to do up his nose band when he’s so scruffy there without pulling the hairs. I also found what looks like a finger mole by his mouth. At first I thought it was a tick but it’s not. I plan to ask his vet when I take him back in a few weeks for chiro, repeat hoof x rays, coggins, vaccines, etc etc.
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    Friday we had a jump school and he felt AMAZING. I learned so much, I had an “aha!” Moment with my half halts. I also learned that him and I need a job to do after every fence. If we have something to do then we are more controlled and not so fast. My aha half halt moment. Sitting up in canter, moving my pelvis not rocking my body, hands up, reins short, tighten hands and soften my seat and release the tightness in my hands. It was amazing to feel the cycle of that energy and it have an immediate effect on Henry. Even when he was amped up and ready to go, he responds! Pulling and standing in the stirrups completely interrupts the connection with him and does absolutely nothing to slow him down. Obvious right? Going back to the part about us needing a job to do after each fence, he will just speed off after a fence so when my trainer told me to add another fence in a bending line 3 strides away I was SUPER doubtful we would be able to make it. But surprise! No issues! I feel more confident on my half halts to the first fence but in between fences I need some practice still. But it was really great for today.

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    If these pictures were in the critique section of Practical Horseman I'm sure George Morris would say my stirrups are WAY TOO LONG based on the knee angles. And He'd be right. So I will shorten them next time. Even though they feel pretty darn short!

    I’ve been trying to spell Henry’s name on the equilab app.
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    Henry has definitely earned the weekend off! Tuesday we will practice our dressage test.

    On a side note, I’m so proud of my son for trotting around the arena by himself twice!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  2. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    You are standing in the stirrups, you can't half halt in that positon, because a half halt is ridden based on your seat and weight. Which you can't bring to bear if you perch above the horse. Plus the unstable position ends you up hanging in the reins, you can't have an independent hands if your seat is not stable.
     
  3. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Yep, that’s what I was saying. When we get more in a controlled rhythm I feel like I will be better allowed to work on my position over fences. I’m very upright in these little jumps because he is known to give massive efforts. The first time with did the black and white my trainer exclaimed “You should have a nosebleed! He jumped it this high!” And she showed with her hands how high he jumped it. I really *hate* getting jumped out of the tack because I’m not prepared for it. Most times if that happens I allow him to slip the reins through my fingers so I do my best not to catch him in the face but it does make it difficult to regain adequate contact upon the landing so that he doesn’t speed off. These pictures and videos help me to reflect on what I think I’m doing between fences and what I’m actually doing. So I need more, to sit back, sit down, unbury my hands, etc.
     
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  4. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    I think your stirrups will look less “too long” if you soften the ankle. In those pictures you’ve got it so deep, there’s nothing left to absorb anything on the landing side of the fence.
     
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  5. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    It's probably better if you don't jump full obstacles but only ground poles, where he will not do more than a larger canter stride. That way you can concentrate on training the controlled approach to the obstacle without worrying if he may overjump or not.

    And you keep your bum firmly planted in the saddle and your body upright until the moment of takeoff.
     
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  6. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    New horse, who dis?!

    Decided to do some desensitization work with Henry today on the clippers. He was a very good boy the first time but we weren’t able to finish. He does much better when held instead of tied. He has more freedom to inspect, move away from pain, and to build trust with the clippers in a positive environment. We stayed home for this today! Enjoy the time lapse!

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  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    When you jump, don't straighten at the knee so much.

    Keep your angles more 'closed.'
     
  8. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Another productive week in the books! Had a lesson on Tuesday, Wednesday, and tomorrow if it doesn’t get too wet. I was able to squeeze a full ride in today before the rain hit. Can’t get better at something if you make excuses not to train. We were the only ones at the barn this afternoon so it was very peaceful. We worked on portions of our dressage test Intro Test C. We worked on bending through corners and 20 meter circles at trot and canter. We also did plenty of canter-trot-canter transitions. I’m trying to refine the aid for canter to make it more clear, quiet, and independent. Thus far we’ve been focusing on getting left canter and not running around unbalanced. Now we have our left canter down pretty well and it is a nice and easy dressage canter that I can control the tempo of. He has developed the muscling to be able to canter this way which has taken time! We stayed on the 20 meter with 4 cones alternating between trot and canter but switching it up, will we do a half circle? Quarter circle? Full circle? That way he couldn’t anticipate the aid. Not only was this a good exercise for refining the canter aid, but also refining our rough downward transitions and getting them more subtle. This was also done working in a frame to facilitate him using his body correctly.
    We had a jump school on Wednesday and practiced doing a course at the canter instead of the trot. He is much more controlled now that we’ve gotten more lessons. After our lesson Henry and I went out back by ourselves to do some canter sets. He was great! And we walked back to the barn with his fancy pants on.
    Here are some pictures from this week.
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  9. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    AB78A5CC-232B-4F15-81CA-D14241A0DA64.jpeg

    Yay! The weather held out enough for me to have another dressage lesson today. Lots and lots of transitions up and down. Trying to get our free walk better, his walk is more of a death march sometimes. He has a great walk in there, I know it! One of these days I will be able to facilitate his fancy walk on demand instead of impeding it as I currently am (somehow, don’t know yet).
    Did a little more work on his mane. But I know when to stop and continue on another day.
    His running martingale for XC came in the mail today as well as his show cooler that I’m going to have embroidered for before the show.
     
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  10. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Some pictures from this week. I really need to finish pulling his mane!
    These pictures were mostly from on my birthday.
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    A funny pic one of the kiddos took.
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    My angles are much better here. A428C38C-88D2-4495-970C-700DF1FDD516.png 524B048D-FFA7-4BE3-ADF9-D25FEFE52339.jpeg DFC82640-F1CF-469B-A915-AFD1066740CA.jpeg
     

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