Reason on his Way.

Reason stepped it up today.  Instead of completely focusing on smooth walk to trot, halt to trot transitions and staying in front of the leg, I added in some work to help him stretch; go long and low and follow my hands.  I felt a couple really cool things through doing this.  One of which was Reason’s total, ‘this mom, this mom?’ attitude towards the whole thing, a lifting back and push from behind instead of the regular shuffle in the front end.  Hello, awesomeness!  How cool!  He was looser in his jaw and following my hands wherever I put them.  Stretch down, come up a bit and more on the vertical – he did it all!  I was so proud and I felt the inner Dressage horse coming through.  The moments were little bits at a time, but that’s the start and if he’s already taking to the concept this quickly, I’m sure things will move steady in that regard.  I think one of the best things besides ‘that’ feeling where you feel the horse ‘connect‘ physically, was also the connection mentally.  Reason was into what we were doing.  He hasn’t been really impressed with anything lately where riding is concerned, not that I really blame him, so the fact that he was so willing and so focused, only added to the overall goodness of the ride.

Reason today moving forward nicely. You can see some push from the hind end and a lightness in the bridle.

I felt Reason matures little bits at a time as we move on.  He becomes less resistant and less ‘no’, and more willing and accepting to learn something new.  He’s been a tough cookie when it comes to his mental perspective and ideas of things he shouldn’t and should be doing.  If I can gather the parts of him that are willing, happy and brilliant,  find ways to break through the wall he has up, I will eventually get through to the horse on the other side.  That horse if you will, is always right there, but yet not.

Overall Reason has really lightened up in his attitude too.  He’s a happy horse who’s blossoming into mature gelding instead of a silly colt.  I love the silly colt, but it’s time for him to grow up now.

He’s such a lovely, light, beautiful mover too, I just would love to see it come forward under saddle!

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Jumping Update & Reason.

Riding has been going really well.  I’m really getting back into a groove thanks to one very awesome little ex-racehorse and his owner who, with her years of experience and knowledge both in and out of the tack, have helped begin to mold me into a real, jumper rider.  In a couple months I’m now jumping 3’6″ with ease.   The last time I had this much fun jumping was back in my pony school days, but that doesn’t even compare to what’s happening right now.  My full jumping ability is starting to come out and I’m starting to become the rider I’ve always wanted and aspired to be.

Warm-up fence.
Cantering a couple weeks ago.
Trotting a couple weeks ago.

Reason is coming along well too.  He’s starting to open up and move forward.  I’ve started to ask for just a little stretching down and flexion here and there to keep him focused and he’s responding well.  But I truly think he’ll begin to come into the horse is really is, when we begin jumping.  He has to endure some more flat work before that starts, but at least we’re on our way.  I asked for the canter yesterday, since he was going so well, and I got the light in the front end, refusal, before he goes high-ho-silver, and backed off.  In hindsight I should have done what my friend said in response to a rearer.  But helping a horse work through rearing is not something I know how to do well, nor have I ever had any experience with a chronic rearer before.  I’ve taken my sweet time in listening, observing and maneuvering through this in a safe manner.  I’m starting to be able to predict when it’s going to happen and ultimately get to a point where I can prevent it from happening altogether, but Reason has been a bit of a loose cannon in that sense.  – It’s made it hard as he has been a more un-predictable mount.  But he’s a lot better than he used to be.  So we’ll keep working slowly but surely.  I believe in him and I know the horse inside, so I’ll just keep working with what I see down the road, and he should continue to come around.

“I raided mom’s closet. Do you think it fits?”
Reason and I two weekends ago.

So now for some fun stuff.  Here is a video of me riding Bax, the little Thoroughbred that can!  He’s a super jumper.  He’s green but he’s got GAME.  Most importantly he LOVES his job and lives for it.  Which makes the experience what it is.  What seems to be my biggest problem is the landing now.  I’m approaching the jumps much better and I’m getting all that pretty well, but the landing does need work.  For some reason I’m favoring my right leg and you can see my body wiggle to that side, therefore telling the horse to land on the right lead, which when we’re turning left, does not help.  I have to re-correct Bax for my own mistake on landing most of the time.  Other than that we’re getting better!  Hey Bax is always great, but I’m starting to pilot him much better and we’re starting to work more as a team.  He relies on me to get him to the jump and I rely on him to get us in the air.  I love him.