Henry learns things!

Saturday morning Henry and I went for a lesson. He went on the float by himself was was pretty chill when we arrived, not having been out on his own for a few months. He stood nicely to be tacked up and didn't stress when a pony tied to the float next to us was loaded to go home.

I did a bit of groundwork with him before I hopped on, just to make sure his brain was focusing on me. When I mounted he was feeling quite fresh and wanted to look everywhere. He wasn't really focusing on me and his rhythm was non-existent. To start we worked on walk-halt transitions, reminding him to be prompt. The repetitions of something familiar helped him relax and focus on me. We did the same with trot, with lots of repetitions. The more we did, the more he relaxed and started working over his back properly.

Once we had control of the pace, we started to look at line, i.e. turning. You can't control the line if you can't control the pace so we had to make sure we had the stop and go down. Henry loves to bulge to the right and fall in to the left (typical race horse), so we practiced direct and indirect turns. First we did direct rein on the circle, aiming to control the shoulders that would rather have been heading for the gate.

My coach then drew 2 lines in the sand about 1.5m apart and we wiggled from one side to the other, focusing only on the front legs. We did this using both direct and indirect rein. It was super hard for Henry but a very good exercise for him.

It was a good lessons in the basics, and exactly what we needed. Henry started out nervous but gradually settled as we worked on the things he is familiar with and eventually settled in to a nice frame and rhythm. It was a good way to see where we are in our training and what he understands. It's easy at home when there is no pressure, the wheels only start to fall off when you go out and test the training!
He so itchy!


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