Sunday, 17 August 2014

Posy goes backwards

She found a video of a talk given by Dr Andrew McLean on You Tube, during which he suggested that the way to reduce a horse's flight response was to slow it down, or better still, go backwards.  She thought She would try this on Posy at the riding club bash today. 
It was windy and there was some jumping going on next door, largely hidden by a Leylandii hedge.  All of this was guaranteed to upset a horse of Posy's sensibilities.  Remembering the words on the video, She only let Posy walk slowly and kept reining back as they went round the arena.  Posy said there were probably some scary things going on, but that it was hard to tell when she had to keep going backwards.

She said the whole experiment was very promising and Posy managed a decent test at the end. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

She has Rider Analysis Clinic

She has been looking forward to this for weeks - the nice man that did the computer analysis on my feet returned to analyse Her.  In Her wisdom She decided to do it on Posy since a) Posy was the right size for Her and b) Posy is the more difficult and more in need of help.

It was a windy day and a number of Her chums turned up to watch.  This guaranteed that Posy became thoroughly upset by the whole shebang and completely lost the plot.  Posy would barely venture to the end of the arena and was all over the place and, if truth be told, not completely in control.  She was mortified.  Eventually, enough trotting and cantering had been done to enable Posy to trot up the centre line for the camera.

The white dots show that the saddle is slipping to the right, the pink stripe across her shoulders show that She is dropping her right shoulder.  Otherwise Her position was regarded as generally good, but ineffective since Posy was prancing around with her head in the air.  The rest of the lesson was spent trying to convince Posy that her head should be in a nice outline and not stuck out gawping at everything around her.  

She had always hoped to obtain an outline by riding forward into a passive hand, since it works for me (but then I am super talented and pay attention and try to do the right thing).  She was forced to admit that this method doesn't work well for Posy who spends most of the time thinking of other things.  Russell's method was to hold the hands wide and vibrate the rein until she flexes at the poll and then release and repeat.  Posy wasn't really helping, but this did work better than doing nothing which is what She had been doing before.

She does feel uneasy about using the rein so much but something has to be done, and it was a lot better than draw reins, bungees or unrelenting bit pressure which She refuses to countenance.
Posy tries to charm Russell of Centaur Biomechanics
At the end of it, She felt that She'd got a lot out of it, but was really depressed that She had been unable to show any basic dressage at all on the day.

PS  She tried the vibrating reins idea the next day when Posy was calmer and was horrified to find that Posy just dropped the contact altogether.  This may explain why all the literature tells you not to try fiddling with the reins to place the head.  She quickly decided that calming Posy would be a better strategy than wiggling the reins.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Panic Stations

On Saturday we were all lined up ready to go out in the motorised cabin for a music party.  We waited, and we waited and waited and then we heard her making a panicky phone call during which She discovered that She had booked the lorry for Sunday by mistake.  She ran round and round in circles and then decided that, as it wasn't far away, She would ride up there.  I could not go because She said it would take me so long to get there that the party would be over by the time we arrived.  So, Posy was quickly tacked up and raced to Duchy College in record time, speeded on her way by the village Flower Festival marquees flapping in the breeze. 

Anyway, Posy ended up doing my 'Cowboy' themed dance.  Posy is the second one up in the video highlights of the party.  She was completely upstaged though by the 7 year old on her pony doing 'James Bond' who comes first.

On Sunday, since we unexpectedly had transport, I was carted off to do another dressage contest as it would be Good Experience for me.  I gather I did better and was braver at approaching the judge's end than last time.  I'm sorry I missed the musical party though as it sounded like fun.

Friday, 1 August 2014

I achieve a record score

For those of you who are wondering how I got on at my Big Day, She has now got the results and the scores weren't too bad but not enough to qualify for the whatever it was She hoped to qualify for.  She thought that my reluctance to approach the judge's end was partly to blame.  I blame it all on being fobbed off with herbal biscuits instead of carrots on the day.

She felt that I had got a bit ring rusty and needed some more outings.  Thus, when Posy had a slight cough on Wednesday, She decided that I should go and compete in Posy's place.  When I arrived I was alarmed to find that I had to go into an outdoor arena with white boards, a flower pot and a large wooden shed with reflective panels, when I have become used to the comfort and safety of the indoor school.  Who could be surprised that I was reluctant to approach the judge's shed?  Then I caught sight of something suspicious and tried to flee the scene.  This earned me a '2' and 'Disobedient' from the judge.  Apparently a score of 2 is a record, but She didn't seem very pleased with it.