As everyone knows, I have been riding the WB mare a lot more lately. I've been putting the miles and work into her in hopes of moving her along and giving her a great shot at a new home. And lately she has been giving me some seriously AWESOME workouts.
With the help of my friend from afar, as in lessons via email, things have changed. Then something 'clicked' in this mares head and HOLY MAMA! We now have a very forward walk and recently have been getting and expanding on work at the trot. Last night she was absolutely amazing. Funny how I'm making pogress in leaps and bounds, getting lessons thru email, compared to how little progress we made when I had access to a trainer 24/7 as my husband....
But what has caused these changes?
Where do I start?
First I was told to bring my hands up a little and straighten the line between my elbow and the bit. Widen my hands and create a 'channel' for the horse's energy to flow thru. This made sense because this is a big horse and she needed somewhere to go. When I opened up my hands, it opened up what she could do and gave her room to actully move. For a change I could feel the difference in her movement. It was great and I was excited.
Then I was also told to use my legs and ask her to step out, reach further up under herself from behind and start using her whole body. This is to read, as the left hind leg comes up, use my left leg to ask for her to bring it further forward, as the right hind comes up, use my right leg to ask for forward. It basically feels almost like you're the one walking because you are using your legs to push the horse forward with each step. My friend refers to this with her mare as her 'stormtrooper walk'. The horse is going forward with determinaion, confidence and really striding out.
We got this part with no problem. When I got the forward walk under saddle, something switched on in Aruba's head and now? We have that same forward walk A.L.L. of the time. Always. No more dragging her along on the lead, no more plodding along on the lunge line, nope. She moves with purpose, on purpose. I love the idea of not pulling, tugging, dragging her around on the lead. That shit gets old.
But a lot of us may think working on the walk is and can be boring work. **raises hand, that was me!** In my friends words, paraphrasing Xenophon, "If you don't have time to work on and properly develop the walk from the beginning, how will you have time to properly develop anything else?" A few more questions to consider along these lines- WHEN will you have time to come back and fix the walk, if you don't have 'time' to do it right from the beginning? The walk is the basic foundation, if it's not solid and right from the beginning, how do you expect anything else to be?
So we had the walk in the process of being fixed, she's striding out at the walk all the time, maybe it would carry over to the trot??? Ummmmm, no. Aruba would start trotting and it would all fall apart. There was a few other problems popping up as well and they needed to be fixed before it went too far. No need to let little things turn into big things later on. Better to put a stop to it now, than let it go and get worse, sometimes becoming a bad habit that's hard to break.