Feb 2018 - improving the older horse
With a good library of over 70 videos already on the website, we are now adding two videos of approx 30 mins each per month. We're hoping to start on in hand work this month and thence to tips on riding a dressage test, through to medium level. Unfortunately due to BETA, we were unable to record and upload in January.
The main films this month show Heather's current student Bridget Colston, one of our EETs and an Intelligent Horsemanship recommended trainer too. Bridget brought her 19 year old Welsh Cob Rebel with her and he has lived up to his name in the past!
He has been unsettled in the indoor school, as the first video shows. He was initially in a Neue Schule snaffle but we changed him to a Pelham, also within the first film, where he improved but still resisted contact.
Bridget had been taught that a contact meant having a feel of the mouth at the other end, a positive tension if you like. Rebel has arthritis in his neck and clearly objected to any contact going up to trot, especially so later in the week, so we changed him to a Bombers Happy Tongue Pelham which has a sweet iron and anatomically shaped mouthpiece. He immediately improved and started to carry himself, there are various stages of self carriage and this is one of them. Bridget assumed if she gave the reins in loops that he would just go above the bit, which he does initially for a few strides, then drop his head of his own volition with no more than a mere vibration of the fingers if even that.
I hope the second film, his second time in the Bombers and Bridget starting to get the hang of releasing the rein, instead of giving him something to brace against, will be of interest. For us it was a delight to see his tense choppy walk and trot changing, and listening to Bridget's seat in downward transitions and to halt. It just goes to show that even a slightly arthritic, hot 19 yr old can still improve!
We've added a third film today, 22 February, with Bridget on Rebel showing the use of the body to slow the tempo.
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