Friday, November 8, 2013

Learning to Go

Plus I had to wear this cute jacket
After watching the videos and reading the summaries of the William Fox Pitt clinic this week, I decided that the little man and I needed to step things up a notch. My goal is to get him on the lesson calendar and haul him over to the fancy trainer's barn, but before we do that, I thought we needed to address a couple of training holes.

My number one concern has been that I didn't feel like Courage had a solid "go" button. I mean, he's always going somewhere. It's just that I don't feel that I can close my leg and say "now" and have him respond.

So I went the most obvious route and threw redheadlins up on him.

Not only is she braver and a better rider than I am, but she's also spent plenty of time galloping race horses at the track. If anyone can go forward on a Thoroughbred, it's her. They had a lovely warmup and then cantered off.

I did my best to scrape my jaw off the arena sand as she effortlessly opened him up down the long side of the arena and then brought him back to do balanced canter circles in the ends. Hm. Apparently the go button is just fine.

Someday we'll have a tail.
Then it was my turn. I got to learn about galloping position, plus shorten my stirrups. We cantered around while I figured life out.

This is probably the most cantering C-rage has done since he came home with me, but in his normal style, he continued trying 110% to do everything we asked.

He is the best at galloping
Finally, I got myself more or less organized in the saddle. We turned up the long side, I adjusted my position, and his stride completely changed. For a moment, I thought he had spooked and was scooting off. Then I realized that I was riding an uphill gallop. I was nowhere near his top gear, and it felt AMAZING.

Oh yes. He has a go button.

I am excited to continue figuring him out--he definitely told me when I hit galloping position and I didn't even have to touch the reins to bring him back. We definitely aren't ready for WFP and we have more work to do before we go to our lesson. That said, THIS HORSE IS AWESOME.

Seriously. I am so excited for what we're going to do together.


  1. It's fun to "go" when they are listening and really responsive. Great thing about TB's.

  2. Forward is very important -- glad to hear that C-Rage isn't quite a western pleasure pony yet and still remembers a bit of his time at the track! Haha

  3. Ha! The go button was installed in YOU! :) <3

  4. You guys look great!!! :D Chrome has a very sticky go button too.... but I'm not sure I'm ready to gallop him. Someday we will though. I miss it!

  5. Holy uphill horse!!! He looks and sounds like so much fun.

    hey, I noticed Papa's tail is growing!!!

  7. Great job! I love figuring out new buttons that I didn't think my horse had! You two look amazing!

  8. It always amazed me to feel my TB's change gears when I asked them to gallop on. They are like expensive sports cars.

  9. Yay! Now how to get the go without having to be a jockey, eh? It'll come. Also, are you doing anything specific to encourage tail growth? If so please do share!

  10. That's great. Finding that balance and the courage... Couldn't think of a better word... To really get up and go is amazing. Sometimes you just have to do it but it's good you had a friend to introduce it. I like to try and open up B a bit in the indoor. If you gain more control at that speed, you'll have more emotional control in general. :)

  11. Too fun!

    Most of my canter time with Harley was spent out of the irons for the first year. It took him a long time to slow down. Enjoy the journey!

  12. He sounds like such a fun horse :) Glad you found his go button.


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