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About LunaMorrow

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • Interests
    Horses, friends, family, chocolate and learning.

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747 profile views
  1. LunaMorrow

    The Bareback Assignment

    The Non-Contact (Bareback) Riding assignment has been in the works for a while now. Our last couple rides have really been focused on getting Darcy’s right canter lead, having him softer and more wiling in the direct rein turns and just generally improving my bareback seat to help him out more (especially during rein positions and that canter transition). All of the elements have been coming together so we went out and filmed it 2 days ago. I was really happy with how we went, but the quality of the filming wasn’t so great. I asked my neighbour to film for me, but as he has never done it before he didn't quite understand how specific this video had to be. Basically ended up stopping the video recording accidentally midway through, ended up doing 2 minutes of canter to the left (apparently we looked like we were having lots of fun, so I wasn't given a one minute notice) and he cut off my last bend to a stop, lateral flexes and backup - whoops! I’m grateful he filmed it though - even if it totally isn’t blue-tickable. Here’s a link to the not-so-great video if you want a laugh - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH7lYOhDTMc I was planning to get out and refilm it today but Darcy was unfortunately a bit tender after getting his hooves trimmed yesterday. We ended up just walking around and playing with Darcy could follow my focus and seat without me using the reins as much as possible. By the end we had lateral flex both ways without even touching the reins (although we’ve had this for a few weeks now), but Darcy also took my offers a few times on some backups and a few direct reins just using my seat. Then when we were walking around I could open up and focus in a direction (no reins) and about 60-70% of the time Darcy would turn and follow my direction. Sometimes my seat wouldn’t be quite right and Darcy would give me opposition reflex if I tried to use my reins to guide him when my seat wasn’t right (bit of a discovery there for me), then I’d readjust my seat and Darcy would take my offer. I also tried asking Darcy to bend to a stop, but he wasn’t quite getting my ask at the beginning. So to help him out I opened up in the direction I’d like his head to flex, then shifted my position to an indirect rein ask, before shifting my weight down further and picking up the rein just slightly (pinch test style) to ask him for a lateral flex plus lowing my energy like I would to ask him to stop. After a few goes he started picking up the pattern and we finished up with me just opening up to the left, then when he flexed to turn sitting my weight down and lowering my energy, and then he flexed to a stop. It was only a half flex but once he stopped he flexed al the way around. It was a great try so I left it at that. Fingers crossed bareback and bridleless might not be too far away from us (just got to get Level 2 done). I’m hoping Darcy will be feeling ok to film the assignment sometime in the next week, so that we can get it out of the way (and hopefully get our first blue tick in what would be a little over 6 months!!) and progress further into the impulsion program. We will be attending the Contact Riding Clinic with Meredith and Fiona in November and aim to have the Bareback and Simples assignments completed by then and be working through the homework cards to prepare us for the gallop assignment. Then fingers crossed we can get the Gallop and Contact assignments completed by April next year so that we are ready for the Level 3 QSE camp. I’m so excited to see where the future takes us (especially in L3)!!!
  2. LunaMorrow

    5 days at QSSC

    Thanks Fiona! Yes its going to be great to have heaps of space to work with, and I'll definitely be bringing out the southern cross the next play days.
  3. LunaMorrow

    5 days at QSSC

    Thanks Judy! I was totally amazing and I can't believe how much I learnt. Yes, definitely! I'll be there with Darcy!
  4. LunaMorrow

    Back to it (yet again)

    Thanks Carola. I sure hope so! I know Darcy and I really aren't far off finishing Level 2. His body, the weather and the show society who own the riding grounds just need to cooperate!
  5. LunaMorrow

    5 days at QSSC

    I recently came back from 5 days completing a working student position for the Cert 1 course at QSSC. It involved working through the Cert 1 course and checklist wth Darcy and doing some groundwork with Khmari for an hour each per day. The rest of my day was spent watching Meredith, Mel and Shane horse training and chatting with everyone about our discoveries, ponderings, thoughts, etc. The working part of my position involved caring for some of the horses in for training, cleaning the kitchen area and some other odd jobs. Over the 5 days spent going through the impulsion groundwork and impulsion ridden diaries with Darcy we have come along in leaps and bounds. We have good consistent rein positions (pinch test style) and transitions (mainly walk and trot, canter is getting there) now, and our turns and rebounds are really coming along. On the circle our spirals and simple leads are getting more flow and impulsion and we even took it up to a canter for the simples. Darcy still needs some balancing coming into the spiral/simple lead as he is getting a bit heavy on his front end (although this was made worse by us trying to go sideways while pointing down the hill). My paddocks are just a bit too small and with too many trees in inconvenient places to get speed up on the pattern, so I’m looking into hiring the Pomona Show Grounds near me as much as possible over the holidays. I’ll have a huge flat space so that I can practice for and hopefully film the non-contact bareback riding and simple lead changes riding assignments over the school holidays. I was planning to film my bareback assignment a few days ago but then we had heaps of rain, so with my clay soil its not safe to canter. We have just been walking and trotting around improving our transitions, direct rein turns and Darcy’s emotional fitness with the slippery ground. I am hoping with consistent practice and work that our simples will be ready to film really soon - even if its just an attempt to get feedback. The main components to improve are getting Darcy’s correct lead to the right 100% of the time and getting more flow and self carriage in the simples. The right lead is coming along well and I had a bit of a tah-dah the other day when I played around with my position and ask for the canter with one rein. I focused more on really exaggerating opening up forward and to the right and letting Darcy just take my offer in his own time so that he could set himself up to succeed. When I tried it, I offered when we were coming around a corner and Darcy was nice and relaxed at the trot. And as a result I got a lovely soft transition up to the right lead, with no moment of counter-flex (which would usually cause the left lead) and it just felt so much smoother and nicer than usual. I will definitely be applying this more so that Darcy can find release in the right lead and then I’ll work on refining it. I haven’t been able to do any homework for the simples since I’ve gotten back, but hopefully we can get to it soon.
  6. LunaMorrow

    2 Purple Ticks for Luna and Darcy

    Thank you Fiona! Its going really well. I was going to go out and film our bareback assignment today but it ended up raining all day! Hopefully we can get it and an attempt of the simples assignment in this holidays.
  7. LunaMorrow

    2 Purple Ticks for Luna and Darcy

    Thank you everyone! Hopefully that third purple tick won't be too far away for us. Just got to finish Level 2 first!
  8. LunaMorrow

    Purple Tick - HiM Liberty

    Thanks Carola
  9. LunaMorrow

    And the Red String goes to....Judy and Zoe

    Big congratulations Judy and Zoe! I've been following your progress and you two are such a great team. You always want to do the best by Zoe which is wonderful to see! I look forward to seeing you in Level 2.
  10. LunaMorrow

    QS Community News

    Wow. I'm so excited for the upcoming events.
  11. LunaMorrow

    Inspiration and motivation!!

    Ahh I love this video!
  12. LunaMorrow

    Back to it (yet again)

    About 3 weeks ago Darcy started getting sore again, so we brought our riding to a halt and I found a massage and red light therapist to come treat Darcy in the hope I'd be able to avoid vet bills this time. The muscle therapist came out and treated Darcy, he was sore and reactive on both sides in his chest, back, croup and hamstring region, as well as over his poll and his sacroiliac joint - he also couldn't move his head up and down from the poll. He improved a little after the first treatment and I reintroduced some basic groundwork just to keep his fitness up and his mind ticking over, as well as some stretches recommended by the muscle therapist. On Wednesday he had his second treatment and he was considerably better, he only had a tiny bit of soreness over a small section of his back and on the right side of his poll, he was also able to move his head up and down from the poll. The therapist said he should probably be ok to ride now and after doing some groundwork on Friday afternoon I could see how much more comfortable he was (no longer going around with his ears back like he had been for the last few weeks). Today I went out and rode Darcy for the first time in about 3 weeks. We went bareback and worked through our impulsion homework cards. We did some circles, transitions, turns, rebounds, point-to-point and rein positions (pinch test style). The circles were pretty good and Darcy remembered the pattern, and our turns were better than they had been before our break! The backup in the rebound and after the point-to-point needs some more work on adding some positive reflex and impulsion though. The transitions on the circle went well and Darcy was going from walk to trot and back down mainly from my seat in a few strides, and he picked up the correct canter lead the first try on his bad side! Our lateral flex was really good and we could do with without reins at all, and the indirect and direct reins were light in a pinch test, the backup and sideways were a bit clunky though, but they'll get better once we get back into the swing of things. Darcy's trot throughout was also really bumpy, so once our fitness is up there will be many a passenger lesson in store, plus some more time spent softening him further on the circle. His trot did improve a bit throughout, so I think it won't take much to get it smooth again. Then this afternoon I went out again and did a little trail ride around my property with Darcy. It was perfect because it lengthened him and gave him some more impulsion, while also stretching his emotions and being fun and interesting at the same time. I did it like a big stopping spot, with the comfort being the track immediately around the paddocks, and then going and doing tracks further away from the paddock and coming back to do a lap around the paddock again if Darcy got emotional. We did some transitions and the occasional rebound as we went, and we got some great walk-trot and trot-walk transitions going from my seat and energy, plus the occasional rebound with much more impulsion in the back up. Towards the end we also did a 200m stretch of canter up our gallop track and all of the groundwork we've been doing showed up as Darcy maintained a slow and steady canter on a straight line and came back to a walk from my seat (although it took a few more strides than I would have liked, it was pretty darn good for Darcy). We finished up with a graze for Darcy while I lay on him. I had a great time and I think Darcy really enjoyed himself too. I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of the year takes us, and hopefully we will be getting some Level 2 assignments in soon!
  13. LunaMorrow

    Purple Tick - HiM Liberty

    Thank you Sarah!
  14. LunaMorrow

    Troubles with no contact hindquarter yields

    Glad I can help. Will you be coming to the play day tomorrow?
  15. LunaMorrow

    Troubles with no contact hindquarter yields

    Hi. I'd recommend trying to just get one good step at a time. Ask for the hindquarter but make sure Ladybird doesn't step across and into your personal space with her front end. If she does try to put a block up with your leadrope or stick so that she is running into the block, rather than you phasing her - and keep asking for the hindquarter until you get a good step. Then release and rub. Once you can consistently get 1 good step without her shoulder barging into your space then you can start asking for 2 to 3 steps at a time, giving release between each ask. I hope this helps and good luck with it