Rain-future show horse

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by NBChoice, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    I like the threads that other people have about their horse and the progress they are making throughout the year so I decided to make my own. It's probably better than making a new thread each time my horse does something good or bad haha. And that way those of you who want to follow our progress can, and those who don't care at all won't have to open this thread! :)

    So most of you already know, but just to make this a real "progress blog" I guess I should give a bit of a background story- Rain is my mare I bought this past June. After my mom's mare came around a few years ago I said I'd never get a mare again. I prefer my gelding much more. However, Rain is from the same breeder as Sublime and I thought it was worth it to take a look at her because she was in my price range and I love this breeder's horses. I looked at Rain a year or so prior at a training facility that had her and decided she was way too much to handle for me at the time. She was in training for the ASB western classes, which is what I was wanting to do. However, she was a hot mess when I looked at her that first time. I didn't even get on her for a practice ride.

    Fast forward to this June. I decided to take a chance and drove to Iowa to see Rain again. The practice ride went smoothly and I liked her willing attitude. I'm not a big fan of plain chestnut horses with little to no markings, but that wasn't going to stop me from getting a good horse. So she came home with us that day. Pictures and videos will be plentiful in this thread, so here is our practice ride video:



    Nothing fancy. No expectations. She had been out of consistent work a few months. I was planning on using her as my hunt seat horse, but felt more comfortable in my cutback, so used that instead for the practice ride.

    Onto the next post...
     
  2. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    This next post is just going to fly right on through the past few months with Rain because I don't want to dwell too much on what has happened. I want to focus more on where we are now and what is coming for us in the future.
    Long story short, I started trailering Rain in to the same place I take lessons with Sublime. I love this trainer and she has helped me tremendously with Rain already.

    Here's a video about a month after I bought her at a small show I took her and Sublime to. I just took Rain to work, not show. It was my first time seeing her in a different area and I think she did pretty well considering we weren't really meshing well together yet.



    After a few months of inconsistent lessons (show season and life just kept getting in the way...), I had a good idea of what type of bit to use for Rain and how to work her better. My trainer showed me techniques to use in the round pen when working Rain and also how to be more effective with my body when asking Rain to step up.

    Here's another video from September. Again, I just took Rain along to the show to work her more and get her used to the show environment. She had been to a few shows with the previous trainer, but not a whole lot.



    And that's enough of the past for now haha.
     
  3. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    And here we are. Weather and life and work and whatever else (let's be honest... laziness and lack of motivation too sometimes) has gotten in the way of working Rain consistently the past couple months. But we are back at it again now. She thrives on getting out and doing something. Her willing attitude and strong work ethic make it so much easier for me to head out to the barn on the cold days and get her moving. This week so far we have been lunging with side reins for a few minutes before each ride and then doing lots of transitions and direction changes under saddle. I got a new 4.5" bit for her for Christmas and the difference it has made in her willingness is phenomenal. I couldn't be happier with where we are right now. I'm excited for the future with her. The plan is to take her to a small schooling show in February and then again in March. Only one class per show is offered for the hunt seat horses (it is mostly a Saddle Seat schooling show), but that is enough. I just want to see how she reacts in the show ring. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised!

    Anyway, that's enough babbling for now. Here is our latest video... it's from my ride yesterday.

     
  4. Winchester

    Winchester Senior Member

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    Rain reminds me of a greyhound - sleek and streamlined :)

    Always happy to hear that things are moving forward in a positive way for you. Show season is always such a fun thing to look forward to.

    I know nothing at all about Saddlebreds or their "type" of riding/showing, but I wanted to ask about your bit setup... Do you have the curb rein through a running martingale? If so, would you mind sharing the reason for that? In jumper/eventer land, the snaffle rein goes through the running martingale - I've never seen it done the way you have it.
     
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  5. Sarai

    Sarai Senior Member

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    Wow she's really improving, from what I can see! Her trot seems way more enthusiastic and driving, higher stepping, than the first few videos. Looking forward to updates! :)
     
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  6. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Yes, the curb rein is through the martingale. It is a basic setup in Saddlebred world to have 2 reins, one going through the martingale. Generally for work purposes people most often use a snaffle bit with either one rein going through the martingale, or a straight rein and a "curb" rein going through the martingale. That's how I work Sublime. But with Rain I have found she goes much better in this bit than anything else.

    Using the martingale with the curb rein helps to decrease the leverage or pull on the shank. The rein is pulled at a downward angle, rather than straight back, which decreases the backwards pull on the shank. With Saddlebreds this is used often when a horse is fussy in the warmup and it takes them a few minutes of relaxing and softening the jaw. In a way it "deadens" the effect of the curb rein, easing the horse into accepting the curb bit. It has done WONDERS for Sublime. Before using this method with him I would have very frustrating rides when using his double bridle. Now when I work him in his show bridle I just warm him up with the curb rein through the martingale and then take the martingale off after a while, and then he is much more loosened up and accepting of the bit. I have found that after I take the martingale off, I don't have to use nearly as much curb rein to get the desired effect as before when I didn't use the martingale at all.
    Of course in the show ring though the martingale is not allowed at all if it is not a training class for the younger horses. For Sublime I show him with only his double bridle. For Rain I can choose to use a double bridle with short curb shank and bradoon, a pelham, a Kimberwicke or just a snaffle bit with straight rein.

    I really suck at explaining things, so here is a blog post written by a fellow Amateur Owner Trainer on martingales and rein set ups if anyone is interested in reading a bit more:
    Running Martingales, Draw Reins and German Martingales – A Physics Lesson
     
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  7. Winchester

    Winchester Senior Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain that @NBChoice
     
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  8. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Just a quick post about today.
    I didn't give myself enough time to ride because I was super tired and took a nap instead. :)
    So I just long lined Sublime and Rain instead. Rain is usually not stellar at long lining, and while today was no exception, she at least wasn't a mess like normal.
    I just did a lot of walk to trot and trot to canter, and walk to canter transitions. She started out bending and flexing nicely and really using her hind end, but the more she worked the higher her head went. After about 10 mins she was trotting around like a giraffe. So I took her back down to the walk and made her relax and flexed from side to side a little bit. Then sent her on her way at a trot for a lap or two with her head where it's supposed to be. After that I called it good and spent some time cuddling with her and whispering sweet nothings into her ear because I'm a dork and I get mushy when my horses stand there to get their heads scratched. That is all! Tomorrow will probably be a rest day because I won't get home from work until close to 8pm.
     
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  9. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

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    Wow she looks great!! Haha I'd love to do a thread like this but I'm too lazy to update it. :p
     
  10. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Thank you!
    Yeah we will see how long I keep up with it haha, but I thought it would be fun to try. Plus I can look back on it a year from now to see what all we have accomplished, which I think will be fun.
     
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