Tag Archives: welsh cob

Clicker Training with Raven & Claire

Whilst Saf is recuperating, Claire has started clicker training with Raven. We feel this should work well for her given her high motivation for food and her desire to learn. Here is Raven being introduced to the clicker for the first time and learning not to mug for treats. She only gets a click and a treat when she doesn’t ask. She’s just so pleased with herself, you can just see her brain working (Raven, not Claire!) 😉

 

Schooling @ home: video

Working on our lesson homework. Had a couple of moments in the trot where I really felt Saf spring up under me which I took as being on the right track. Using a steady outside rein to keep the neck straight and an opening inside rein to ask her to mobilise her jaw. Love her!

Lesson: Mobilising the jaw, poll and neck

Lesson day! Both my trusty photographer and videographer were unavailable this morning, one of them is sunning herself somewhere hot! Therefore you’ll have to do with a dodgy selfie and Raven’s first attempt at a photobomb!

Today we discussed how Saf’s default setting is a rather immobile jaw, poll and neck. This has a knock on effect down her body, giving a general stiff, stilted feel in the walk. I now need to do something about her stiffness and not be afraid to pick up my reins. As with everything riding, it’s a matter of co-ordination and timing. I need to use my outside rein to check her neck is straight, then my inside rein with an ‘opening’ feel to ask her to mobilise her jaw.

This sounds so simple when written down but I can assure that it took the whole lesson for me to combine these two simple tasks. I mustn’t give away the outside rein at the same time that my inside rein is asking for jaw mobility, but then I need to reward her when I feel her relaxing her jaw. Of course, never ever get her into a position and just hold on! 😀 As always the proof is in the pudding, and Saf felt looser and more springy when we achieved this elusive mobile jaw. Remind me again why the fashion is to strap the jaws shut with a tight noseband? I don’t get it 😦

Another fascinating lesson, thanks Max. Can’t wait to get schooling next week and get working on this.

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A new addition!!

Absolutely thrilled to introduce Claire’s new Welsh Cob mare, Lynbrie Megan Mai aka Raven. We went to see her last week and she arrived on Saturday. She’s a total sweetie, 14.3hh approx, 7 years old. She’s had a bit of a chequered past, backed at 4 then was left due to her previous owners poor health. The chap we bought her from did an amazing job with her, she is so friendly and a lot more confident than she was when he took her on, but she’s still a bit nervous and it is likely she will have to be started again.

Needless to say we’re really excited and Claire is very much in love! Watch this space!

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Introduction

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Arrived at home

Hot But Chilled Dressage

Well if I thought it was hot during my lesson on Saturday, we were in for a shock doing Prelim 7 on Sunday at Codham! Having given ourselves a bench mark last time, I was aiming for more relaxation and less tension from Saf, and for me to keep my hands softer. After a boiling hack there, Saf was on her best behaviour and stood happily tied to a tree eating her haynet. It was amazing for all of us to be ‘hands free’, without one of us having to hold onto her. Simple things! After a half hour rest we headed down to the warm up, which seemed less busy compared to last time.

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Saf started out tense and looky, but we had a happy canter on each rein which seemed to get it out of her system. She then worked really rather well. Wanted to keep the warm up to a minimum due to the heat, and we were soon called.

I was so pleased with her, I remembered to relax my hips and kept my hands light rather than the usual ninja grip I develop when I feel like she’s going to run off during the test. She was understandably happier and aside from a bit of nose poking at times and ducking in on a few corners in canter I was really pleased. Came out with a grin which is always good 🙂 61% which I was happy with and felt about right from where I was sitting and particularly pleased since it’s only our second time at this venue.

 

All the photos here: https://www.facebook.com/dragondressage14/photos

Emma & Saf x

Lesson – Relax those hips!

Scorchio lesson on Saturday morning. Spent today working on keeping my upper legs and hips loose and ‘off’. I need to allow Saf room to lift her back and she can’t do this if I’m squeezing her! I think I got a good feel for this so will try be aware of what’s going on there. We did a bit of work in canter as well, which felt lovely, I’m really learning to love Saf’s canter, which I never thought I’d do. Concentrating on keeping my hips and thighs relaxed is particularly important at this point, especially given that I tend to squeeze her if I feel she’s slowing down as mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I need to just ask Saf to do something, and then let her do the work. I’m too much of a ‘doer’ and end up doing more work than her and stifling her.

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