Friday, June 17, 2011

Hold on loosely...

Don't let go... if you cling to tightly.... you gonna lose control!

Let me tell you about the issues I've been working through lately. Contact. Granite either sticks his nose out, chews his bit, twists at the poll and says "no thank you mom." OR, he dips under the bit and I feel like I am riding in draw reins, he has no "whoa" and only curls up when I try to take contact. I think a lot of this is coming from his getting stronger and more brave and just testing what he can get away with. Let me tell you, I need to get into the gym and strengthen my arms because my pokey chill baby horse has grown up to be strong and fast and frankly, a rather challenging ride. I've toyed with the idea of sending him to "boot camp" but I'm not sure if I can afford and coordinate it. I had some breakthroughs last night in 1/2 halts and riding a bit more assertively myself (worrying less about equitation and simply adjusting to prevent Granite from taking advantage). I also think I need to incorporate some lunging. He's in a pasture alone now and is in some of the time, so the huge 4 year old has lots of energy when I ask him to move in the arena. I need to take that into consideration and make it less of a struggle by letting him work the kinks out BEFORE I get on him. All in all, its not bad, but I need to start making some adjustments to make it better. I can tell you that when we get it right, he is amazing. Anyone know how I can just get him a modeling contract with Dover or Smartpak or something. I think he'd rather not be a show horse but wants to smile for the camera and just be handsome for a living :)

Hope all is well in the blog world. I'm keeping up with all of you on lunch breaks via Google Reader although I may not comment.

I'll leave you with some photos of the handsome devil (being mischievous or naughty per usual).

Beggin sonic tater tots of his dad. Note Daphne wants some too.

Me & Granite and our shadow.

Above the bit, twisted at the poll 

Below the bit, no contact!


  1. Nice to hear from you! Great pics! I'm sure it's just the usual baby stuff, Tucker went through various stages of being too curled up, leaning, twisting, opening his mouth, etc. Two thoughts: have you had a chiropractor look at him? That could explain the poll twisting, he might have TMJ. Also: have you ever tried a flash on him? That will help keep him from crossing his jaw and may make him more accepting of the bit.

  2. I've worked through these issues with Dawn and Drift and they're not easy. Once you get physical issues sorted - I agree with Marissa that chiro is something to check, as well as bit type/fit, dental and saddle fit - but in my own experience it was what I was doing that was not giving the horse the consistency in contact, and the releases (not throw away but small) necessary for the horse to know with certainly where I wanted the head to be. We worked on that with Dawn at the clinic, and I have a post coming on "allowing" - partly the concept of elastic concept but some other stuff too - that's in the works. It was interrupted by my fall and hospital stay, but I expect the post will be along soon.

  3. "fix it with forward," my trainer would say! push him into the contact. you can't have a true connection without a forward push from the hind end.

    I love your new header photo, you are both gorgeous :D

  4. Oops! I meant "elastic contact".

  5. Yah! Glad to hear from you. I agree with the going forward comment. Once you have him in front of your leg, moving towards the bit it should help. I do also know of a horse that twisted at the poll that did need an adjustment. He is much better now after seeing the chiropractor.

  6. All the fun baby issues. I agree with those who have said check out any/all physical & equipment things first, and then re-assess from a training point of view. There's no point worrying about correcting the training if in reality his saddle's just pinching or his teeth need to be floated. Btw, I love your barn. So pretty!

  7. I don't have much to say that the others above have mentioned. Sounds similar to Pop when we were in the old bit and the change really helped. Maybe try a new bit. Don't have to get something harsher just something different for him to play with in his mouth. And then I second everything else as stated above!

    Good to hear from you. Pics are great! Granite has such a beautiful stride! And girl you are looking good! You are so pretty in all those pics!

  8. :) Yay for big baby horses! Lunging definitely helps as does lots of figures and turn and keeping his brain active/not knowing what's happening next. Worry less about his head and more about his hind...if he's engaged, forward and pushing more behind the front will naturally lighten up. Then transitions, transitions, transitions...dont worry where his head is during them...tranistions between gaits and within gait (ie collected, medium, extended). He and YOU look great!

  9. Love the grays. I agree, our gray would rather just pose and look good. Wish Dover would call us. He's very strong and takes a lot of time and work. Good luck.