Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not a Jumping Horse Yet

The weather is surprisingly cool here, which seems to have Izzy more alert and forward than usual. When I lunged her, I had to wait a while to start asking her to do anything because she just needed time to settle. She was quite good and we ended our lunging session by having her hop over the small crossrail we finished with yesterday. So far, so good.

I did mean to try to actually jump her over that under saddle as well, but other things came up. We did a lot of walk/trot transitions and shorten/lengthens in the trot. She was a little sticky about her upward transitions at first, but the more we did them, the more relaxed she became. Her canter transitions aren't quite as efficient as they used to be, but I think that's a residual effect of the fitting saddle. Before, she didn't want to go forward, so she'd tiptoe around in the trot, then leap into the canter when asked for it. Thus, the transition was immediate, but the gait was choppy. Now that she's using her back, she's more comfortable going forward in the trot, so she'll do a really big trot instead of a one0stride canter transition.

Oh well. It's coming. I have encountered a new behavior, though. She's learning to stretch down and she's learning to carry herself a little bit. She hasn't quite sorted it out yet, though, so now she's stretching down and curling. Right now when she does that, I lift my outside rein and ride her forward, but I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas? Anyone else dealt with this? I don't want to hit her in the mouth (obviously), but I'd prefer she reach forward and down.

Oh, and no Bear updates because I have a big presentation this week in school and I'm focused on that... as you can tell by the fact that I'm posting here...


  1. Hi, thought I'd answer here so you would see my reply. This is Jean from Horses of Follywoods.

    Yes, I am an Ansur representative. As a matter of fact, I am also the moderator of the Ansur Saddle discussion group at Yahoo.


    I have been riding my horses in Ansur saddles since 2000 and am totally sold on the concept. Yes, a well fitting treed saddle is great, but the theory behind the Ansur...that the horse changes shape when he moves and a treeless saddle changes with him...makes a lot of sense. I am glad your gorgeous girl moved better in the Ansur. I've seen that happen a lot.

    If you have any questions about the saddles, let me know, or join the Ansur group on Yahoo.

    As for the stretching down....you are right to want her more down and out than curled. Giving her a little "check" with the outside rein should do the trick, but make sure you also give her a nudge with your leg so she continues to step under.

    A rein correction made "in contact" is not as harsh as a rein correction that comes when you have no contact on the reins to start off with. So you need to make sure you have a feel of her mouth before you make the little check. Sometimes just giving a strong leg aid encourages the nose to go out too.

    I see, like my guy, she gets a little behind your leg once in a while, so sharpening her up to go forward will help too.

    Young horses are wonderful creatures, but unless you have trained dozens of them, you are going to make some mistakes. I see your trainer may be moving away. I hope you can find someone else to guide you along the way.

    Izzy is one beautiful girl. I hope to keep up on your progress!

  2. Hi Aimee. Just looking at your girl, I don't think you will need any kind of special padding. The new design KK has good pommel clearance, and it looks as if your girl has a well balanced back. The saddle should fit level on her back.

    I use a quilted square pad myself, nothing special. I have found some of the quilted pads will slip a little if they are synthetic. Flannel backed ones don't slip. The Lettia pad I have slipped really badly.

    You can invest in all kinds of fancy pads if you want to, but I haven't needed one in 9 years, so I am skeptical.


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