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one rein riding

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Dear diary,

I have felt more up lifted in the last 2 week as the weather has felt like spring is in the air. Cold starts but by mid morning the sun has a bit of warmth with low winds. 1 more month of winter to go. August is usually the worst for me as the winds are higher, colder and more rain. But so far so good.


Ive had a slump of motivation but slowly it has been regained. I have been practising bits and pieces of activities but still not ready to hand in any assignments as yet. I have been doing short range circles while holding the stirrup and with the stick on the saddle then allowing Iggy to drift out to a larger circle while doing transitions then bring him back with a spiral. Then sending out by backing and getting the step over with correct leading leg. Then in the saddle I have done follow the rail on a loose wind in the reins walk and trot for 10 minuets intervals. Poor Iggy has been in a lather of sweet by the end. I think he is a tad unfit. Just like his owner.


Im in no hurry to hand in any assignments as there is so much to consider bio mechanically and refine.


Dear diary,

I got my video of the spirals assignment taken down as I knew it was not a pass. To me there was no harmony nor bio - mechanically correct movements. Plus other things that made it unsightly for me to watch. I feel better that it is gone.


Dear diary,

It turned out to be quite a nice day today no wind and not cold at all. I just had to get on and have a ride. Iggy has been changing shape so I re-looked at the fitting of my saddle and moved and added the shimms to a way that may suit his physic at this time.


I really don't know if it is Iggy or me or the both of us but I keep on being pushed over to the right side and every now and then I have to stand in the left stirrup to sift the saddle over. I am finding it really annoying and disappointing in myself as a rider that I am getting weaker and not as able to hold my body steady. I am also finding that my hip is starting to give me a few little twinges of discomfort. I really do need to get my core back in shape and do stretching exercises but it is so hard to do the work required to be strong and get stronger and stay there. It is getting harder as I am getting older but so important to maintain ourselves if we want to continue to ride.


Today I thought that I would try to refine some of my ground work skills,. After seeing my video assignment I want to start addressing my backing as it looks like I'm throwing the rope at Iggy and I think it looks unsightly. If I translated my body language to words I would be yelling at Iggy. IGGY! BACK UP MORE MORE MORE, thank you". I want to whisper to him, "Iggy, if you don't mind could you please be my partner and back up." I can alter myslf , Im sure of it.


I also did a few change of directions as in the video it looks like Im pulling Iggy into the change. This is not the case but it looks like it so I have to re think my body language so that it looks like I'm asking the hind 1/4s to make the change through to the shoulder coming over.


I also did some circling and encouraged Iggy to stay a little father away from me . I did some cantering on the circle as I usually don't do this but I thought I had better get his fitness levels up. So I thought I would do a little cantering each time I do things with him starting with 4 laps each side or longer as he some times gets carried away with himself and looses his rhythm and panics. When he gets his rhythm back we stopped for a break.


My ride was the southern cross pattern in sitting and rising trot with a little canter.


I had a great time.


Dear diary,

Well my assignment went up this morning.


I don't think it will be a pass, as the change of direction will be regarded as to close and not enough forward from Iggy as the change in the direction he drops down to a walk. Our sends take to long but moving off on the correct leg.Our circle may be regarded as to close. I may get a comment about how I should use my body language more to get Iggy to move up to a trot and Iggy walks off after the send instead of trotting off, again lack of impulsion. Lastly we are over time as Iggy missed his first jump so I had to re ask for that and missed the first change of direction so I had to re ask for that also and I did not trim enough off the end of the video so time is waisted with me patting Iggy and walking off.


On the up note there are no star fish, or only a few. He is backing well but could be better. The hind leg cross over is OK in the spirals but also loosing impulsion and dropping down to a walk. I feel that I need to get more subtle with my request to back up as it looks like to me that Im throwing something at him. So may be I will work towards a finger wiggle and at most a wrist wiggle.


As always it is alway interesting to critique myself as there is so much that needs finessing and an eye for detail is what I need. I would love it if I could double myself during practise time. Now that would be handy indeed.


Dear diary,

I had a run through of my spirals assignment today. I video it, it was pretty ordinary but I have not handed anything in for a while so it will have to do. I think I will also hand in another as I was not happy with this effort today.


It is interesting watching yourself in the camera. When I am going through the procedure of the assignments I think I am being rough and forceful with lots of energy but when I watch myself I'm not like that at all if any thing I have low energy and calm.


Very interesting


Dear diary,

It always confuses me when someone wants to know what you are doing. They sit and listen and want to be shown how to do it. So you show them and give them instruction. They are all excited so you leave them to it and in10 minuets, if that, you see them in the corner of your eye and they are back doing there old stuff. Why do I bother.


While out at Elco I was watching some one train a young horse in the classical way. I love the classical way. The methods of old emphasis on the hind 1/4 which makes the front ends so light. That horse is going to be gorgeous in a few years with muscles on the bums and top line.


I do wonder why QS do not do haunches in, out and shoulder in till much later in their program, as I see it as basic training that prepares the horse for renvers, travers half pass and correct flying changes rather than flying changes by throwing the horse weight over. Which I have never understood with both QS and Parelli.


I had a chilli but lovely day at Elco


Dear diary,

nothing special today just practising circling game, rebounds, jumps, change of direction around cones and bare back riding at the walk. I noted today that I was collapsing in my left hip each time I went around a barrel. So I readjusted my posture by looking up and being stronger in my core . Iggy was also pushing me over to the right so I have a double wammy to work with, my posture in Iggy's asymmetry imbalance


Dear diary and others,


Nothing screams our louder than someone who thinks their time is more important than yours, when they say they will meet you at a venue at a particular time and turn up 45 mins late. That really cheeses me off. Any way I did my thing of practicing small and large circles and a change of direction then jumped on and rode the southern cross pattern. I left after what I wanted to do as I had other things I had to do and left them to do there own thing. Im a slow learner in that you can only rely on your self.


Dear diary and others,


I enjoyed doing the southern cross pattern so much the other day. I love the repetitive pattern as it makes me feel comfortable and securer. I felt so comfortable in this pattern that I had the confidence to do it with the bare back pad. Iggy felt very comfortable to sit on and warm. It was a really nice feeling to be this close to Iggy. I could understand if people prefer to ride with out a saddle as there is so much more to feel the breath, the warmth, and the steps where much easier to feel. I am blow away by the sensation. I knew there was a separation between the horses back with a saddle but was unaware just how much the saddle separates you from the horse.


The exercise is also very beneficial to the way the horse moves. I found this is an exercise that can be used in so many ways to get variation, it is just your imagination that would hold you back. The area is relatively small which promotes hind 1/4 activity which in turn leads to engagement. I was only riding at the walk but felt very templed to step up into a jog. I think I will stay at the jog before stepping up into a trot just a little while longer to get my balance in check.


As I was doing the pattern I all of a sudden though of a kaleidoscope and I could see colours with each turn I made. I also imagined the doodling stencils of the spirography set that I had as a child as watched the pretty patten that was being left in the sand. Which made me want to ride my line even more correctly so I would not blur the pattern. The pattern did get lost in the end it was no longer recognisable but a mush of hoof prints in the sand. Writing this highlights how the pattern relaxes me, I'm in a cloud of imagination and not getting lost in the riding so to speak. Im getting lost in colours of the kaleidoscope and the pattern of the spirograph that resembles a flower to me. I was riding in the moment and nothing else was in my mind. What a great lesson the southern cross pattern turned out to be.


Dear diary and others,


Oops yesterday my horse practise did not happen. I allowed my procrastination habit to take over and got distracted with other things like cooking and gardening. Like all small acreages there is plenty of work to be done and at times it gets over welming, since I do the lot by myself. I could make it easier if I didn't treat it like a suburban block but I like things neat. I close my eyes and think little bits, littles bits.


I cant believe we are well into June. Now it is the time to relook at my aims to see if Im still on track for my goals for this year.


Level 2 practise cards no yields..............................tick

Level 2 practise cards contact yields......................tick

Level 2 practice cards no contact yields.................tick


Level 2 assignment 1...............................................pass


Level 2 practice cards advancing sideways............tick


Level 2 assignment 4...............................................pass


Level 2 practise cards liberty no yields...................playing with

Level 2 practise cards liberty contact yields...........playing with

Level 2 practise cards liberty no contact yields......playing with

Level 2 practise cards liberty section 2/3................playing with


Level 2 practise cards rebounds...............................tick

Level 2 practise cards long range circles..................tick

Level 2 practise cards falling leaf..............................tick

Level 2 change of direction change of direction.......tick........ walk and trot


Made an attempt of assignment 10..........................no pass


Level 2 assignment 2...............................................in process of working on

Level 2 assignment skills check..............................playing with


That makes me feel better seeing that I have been doing my work. Some times as I go through things I forget to look back to see where I have come. Im on track. All is good even though I get side tracked from time to time.


Now to focus on spirals assignment 2. Get that done and dusted, its my priority.


July focus on skills check.


The whole of August will be just practise and more practise with no assignments being handed in as Shane will be in Europe


September I aiming for assignment 7

assignment 5


October I am aiming for Level 1 assignment imagination


November I am aiming for Level 1 One rein


December/January to far ahead...............................Level 2 assignment 3 Float loading?


February is a new year for me as my membership is due.





Dear diary and others,


We did more practice of the spirals assignment today not all together just bits and piece in a mixed order. Things are look OK so may be at the end of the week I'll video the assignment for feed back as I will need some tweaking. It is always harder to do multiples things in a particular order in a fluid routine. I find it is easier to do one task at a time.


The circling game - Iggy had impulsive energy going into canter then straight into nothing like a dribbling walk or dribbling trot. It was extremes at times, once he got some consistency on both sides I changed to changes of directions. He was better than last week as he was staying out of my space more and there was more fluency in the turns. The barrel jumps are getting much better as he is no longer stopping before the jump and is very happy to spiral in to finish that activity.


I'll do more of the same tomorrow


Dear diary and others,


I'm questioning my ability as a trainer. Where have the years gone, I look at the level we are at and the age of my horse. Its just a bit disappointing. No softness no bend and tension.


I did not stick to my plan today. I was going to video an assignment. How did I forget my plan. I must of just walked out the back door in a cloud.


Dear diary and other,

On Friday I met up with a friend and had a ride on Iggy. I have been doing the program of ground ground with some riding but the riding has manly been at the walk and very small bouts of trot. On Friday I did more trot work and it felt uneven and short. I tried to lengthen out the trot but it just became short but faster. I tried doing small circles out to larger, rebounds, haunches in and shoulder in all to get the inside hind leg coming under Iggy's point of weight so that he can use his hind legs more efficiently, but still short movements. I also notice that he was pushing me over to the right side of the saddle.


Iggy is now ageing and I think stiffness a kind of arthritis is coming in. I think I have to be more of a problem solver of how to work into an exercise. So I have decided to go as slow as Iggy can then ask for slower again. I thought that if I work the muscles slower that may help with the warm up. So my plan from now on is slow jogging trots until I feel looseness and release of muscles.


Not to sure how sound Iggy is.


Dear dairy and others,


It was just what I needed a practice day with like minded people. I started the day feeling lost now the end of the day feeling much more motivated with direction. I have been motivated not by words but by my own actions and being around others doing there own thing.


I was practicing the skills check at liberty, at one point I paused to give Iggy think time and look up and over Iggy. The sight was moving and motivating. We had a really good turn out of people and horses. As I paused I saw Jen Renouf, Michelle Watson, Sue Wright, Deb "the ambo" and our newest member Donna Lane the only person missing form our group was Meredith Shaw. I also moved form the round yard to the open space and practiced the falling leaf, parcial hind 1/4 disengagement, the change of direction, short range circles and short range circles with a few sideways popped in to increase the circle. I felt really good as I also worked out a problem with the change of direction for myself. Allow Iggy to have more space to move. I love being a problem solver.


All were practising their home work cards, all were on a mission, all focused. It was a great sight. Thank you ladies for your company and unbeknown motivation.



Dear diary and others,


Feeling really lost at the moment. Where am I wanting to be? Where do I fit in? Why don't I fit in? To high expectations! Getting lost in the future and not feeling good about the now. I need a pump of positive energy, motivation, warm weather and regain my life as it feels like I belong to everyone.


Dear diary and others,


My husband and I went on a mini break to Metang and all I could think of was Iggy, my homework cards and assignments. Mental studies have shown that if you can vividly picture your practises, what ever that may be,it can be the equivalent to actually doing your sport, music or in my case horsemanship studies. Fingers crossed then for me as it feels like ages since I have had contact with my boy. Thursday will be back to practicing with the girls of Lara and Little River Legends and Elco Park. Hopefully I haven't missed a beat.


Dear diary and others,


Its the first day of winter today and it has taken me extra effort to motivate myself to go out side and play with my boy. It is very important for me that I have a plan for my practice days over the colder months. I tend to get a bit lost and loose motivation when it gets cold, simply because I hate the cold weather. My short term plan is to recap the spirals assignment by breaking it down to bite size sections.


Today I worked on the change of direction on the 22 ft rope. Iggy was a bit sluggish so we addressed moving out on the circle, maintain direction and maintain speed. hmmmm needs plenty of work as our circles do not resemble a round shape they are more like an odd egg shape and the speed was inconsistent and unbalance. To the right Iggy appears to be more balance than the left. The left side Iggy was falling in on the circle and not shaping his body well. So instead of leaving him out on the circle practicing getting worse I decided to bring him in on a shorter length line. I thought that if I have him on the short range circle I would be able to help him to keep the tempo even and to assist the falling in on the shoulder. I did note that I was in front or level with his shoulder so that would be a problem with the speed not being consistent. After noting this important detail I then put him out a bit father and sure enough I was in the wrong position mainly on the left. I was in the correct position on the right. Im not to sure why this is the case. I will have to video myself to see what is actually happening with me.


We then did a few change of direction again the right side is more fluid than the left side as he stops when I ask for the shoulder over. Ill have to video that also to see what my body language is doing.


I was happy with Iggy's approach to the jump. He is defiantly is getting more confident as he was able to walk up to the jump, jumped and go back to a walk after the jump. Then up to the trot, jumped and continue after in trot and not go up to the canter.


Then to finish we did a street walk






Dear diary and others,


Getting myself into a routine this year and for the last 3 years has been a challenge but I think Ive got it. Its a great way to start the day, exercise. For my health fitness is a priority I have decided to start the day with the treadmill for 1 hour to get my aerobic and corse fitness to a point where it aids my riding. For the time to pass by more quickly I put a dvd on and today I had the motivation of Shane showing me fitness and strength. I will watch the video again tonight with pen and paper and study points to note as there are some great exercises and points to jot down. When watching DVDS on the treadmill I basically get a gist of things because I am concentrating on running and walking transitions. Im all pumped but no horse play today as it is mums day were I do her garden and take her shopping


Dear diary and others,


We had 20mm of rain on Sunday night and this morning my new arena was very soggy. So soggy that when I stood on it it was like soup in the bottom Half and in patches water was coming to the surface as I stepped on the sand. Im disappointed that I will only be able to have limited use of the arena over winter if today was an indication. The arena was draining but very slowly. By late afternoon I could only use the top 1/4 of the arena.


Today I worked on the change of direction. The turn and change was good on the right hand side. I was able to get the hind legs crossing over as Iggy started the turn which set up for the the shoulder to step over but on the left side it was not as smooth. Iggy's hind 1/4 yields were not as good and took a little longer for him to cross the legs then as he made the turn he stopped looked for direction then turn the shoulder and made his way to the centre for the change of direction.


We also worked on short range circles. The left side he was more balanced with bend. On the right side he was unbalanced and fulling in on the circle and was obviously struggling as he keep his face on me wanting to come in and stop.


We popped over the barrel just a few times. I had a refusal on the first attempt. His spirals to a stop are quite good.


Dear Diary and others,


Our gathering was at Little River today. The theme was bring a friend, we had a great day with a friend of mine and her friend. Jen Renouf place out the southern cross pattern for the QSports and Michelle Watson gave a demo of the level 1 on line. Then we all had our turn of running through the level 1 QSport. It is so easy to sit back and think," sure I can do that." till its your turn and the basic exercises turn out to be a little more difficult than you think.


The forecast for the day was not going to be great hail, wind and rain. It felt like winter but I was warm as toast in my ski gear. The gods where on our side and the weather held off till we finished our run through of the QSport. As we stopped for lunch the rain came down. We sat in club house and chatted.


After my friend and her friend left Jen talked to Michelle and myself about the planing of our assignments. I had a short plan already of 4 assignments but Jen extended it out so that all my assignments were accounted for from easy medium hard and very hard.


It was a great day


Dear Diary and others,


A magnificent day today weather wise. Just a perfect day to be out and about riding and chatting with friends over lunch talking about any topic that comes to mind. I caught up with my social Friday riders group today. Its a great group of ladies where there is no opinion on what you do as long as you are enjoying your self. So I can feel very relaxed about practicing my horsemanship with them without feeling judged.


Today I met Donna Frankie Lane form Ballarat and her lovely youngster who joined in with the QS Lara group that were also at Elco Park today. Hope you girls had a fun and interesting day working through your home work cards. Sorry I did not stay for a chat but had to get home for a mulch delivery. You all looked busy packing up anyway . See you on Sunday at Little River.


Today I worked on lateral softness and vertical softness at the standstill. Laterals are good vertical are a set up and wait for a few minuets then release and stat over again.


We did some walk and trot transitions on a loose rein and trotting from the holt. Iggy is getting much better at not racing off when I ask for the trot but his head is still up and down not a consistent head and neck position. Ill be so happy when I can get that.


Then we had a pleasure loose rein walk around the Lara reserve.

Such a beautiful day



Dear Diary and others,


I went down to Drysdale riding grounds today and obviously many others thought they would get out and about also. I have never seen it with more than 3 people using the arena at any one time. 8 horses in total. That is a full house ;) .


I did riding today on a loose rein and practicing flexions at the stand still a few bending to a stop and hind and fore 1/4 yields. Trying to get relaxation in the trot it is very hard for us and trying to encourage Iggy to have his head level with his withers is also a challenge. He does the friesian high head thing or the other head down and on the forehand.


Im not to sure which is worst for the horse structurally on the forehand putting all the weight of the horse and me on those delicate front legs or head up getting a hollow back and putting pressure from my weight on his also delicate back. Which evil to choose?


So I try to get him to ride in a forward step from the hind 1/4s to raise his head. This theory also works for the high head as the bigger step lowers the head also. All I know is that my riding wasn't that great today. Feeling a bit lost today and not to sure if I am going in the right direction with the riding aspect.


I had one person ask me what is the point of riding a horse with no contact. Well I said it has various reasons I'm sure but I only can think of 2


1.helps the rider get a more independent seat and

2.allows the horse to move freely with out interference from the riders hands


If you know any other reason please let me know.

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