Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Progress and Pics

Hooray! I managed to wrangle Jennie into being our photographer today. She got really in to it and snapped tons and tons of pics. Some of them turned out really well. Thanks, Jennie (I mean, Pinkie)!

The last few days, Salem and I have been working on halts and transitions -- so, there's been a lot of walk/halt, trot/halt/trot, etc. I am really drilling that halt -- it usually starts out a bit ugly in the beginning of the ride, but by the end I can hold the buckle of the reins and get him to halt using only seat and voice. Our progress is slow, but it's definitely there. I read on online article that states, if you work a horse thirty minutes twice a day trying to teach it a new behavior, it takes thirty days for that behavior to be learned well. So, we're actually doing quite well, thank you very much. :-)

Heather also suggested that we work on lengthening and shortening our strides during the trot so that Salem will be more "adjustable." This will carry over in to his canter work, once we start adding that back in. She suggested that we really focus on our "brakes" and lengthening/shortening strides at the walk and trot for now, and add the canter in once we really have these things solid. This is completely fine with me -- I would rather spend a long time on the basics and get it right rather than rush through everything and not do it properly.

So, on to the pics! Let me just say that, while we have come a long way, we both have a lot of improvements to make. For starters, I need to lose the "Hunter Perch," get my leg back, and get my f-ing hands up! I swear, I had no idea that I carried my hands so low. Now I know why Elaine is always telling me, "Bend your elbows more!" *sigh* I'll get there eventually. Salem, on the other hand, looks smashing (thank goodness these weren't taken on Sunday, when the bugger reared on me -- but, that's another story!).

Note his tongue sticking out -- silly boy

Even though we're completely crooked here, I had to throw this pic in -- Jennie was trying so hard to get one with Salem pointing his toe!

Look, he even has "slobber" now, which is definitely a good sign!

Ooo, another toe-pointing one ;-)

Isn't Salem looking handsome these days? I love how dark he is now that I clipped off all that sun-bleached fuzz. Plus, he's gaining muscle and filling out very nicely. He's quite a good-looking lad!

Well, I've got a few more blog posts that I've been meaning to write. Things have just been crazy, what with the holiday season and all of its madness --but, stay tuned!


eventer79 said...

Awww, Salem is looking great! And he and Solo have matching blankets too, LOL.

Just to note -- foot landing toe first (toe pointing) is not good. Although I am sure you are learning from your DVD's that a heel first landing is what is striven (is that word? strived?) for. When the toe hits first, it jams all the joint together, starting from the tip of the coffin bone and transferring the shock up the leg. A heel first landing, allows the tendons and ligaments to do their work of absorbing shock properly. Of course, it takes a while to get the foot to cooperate!

SprinklerBandit said...

If you have the option, try riding him in a dressage saddle. A CC is going to help you stay in your hunter position, while a dressage saddle will help you in a different way.

Of course, a saddle won't "fix" anything, and it's bloody expensive. I would drop your stirrups a hole or two, though.

Frizzle said...

Lol, yes, Solo, those videos spend at least 5 hours on explaining the importance of a heel-first landing. He actually has a heel-first landing, although it might be hard to tell from the pics, what with all the grass. What I meant with the "toe-pointing" was that she was trying to get a shot when his front leg is stretched all the way forward. And, ooo, Salem and Solo are Blanket Buddies! Lol.
Sprinkler, I would love to get a dressage saddle, but it ain't happening any time soon! You and I must think alike, though, because I have been thinking that I need to lengthen my stirrups a bit. Hopefull, that will lessen my Perchiness.

eventer79 said...

Haha, figured your DVD's of barefootedness would go into that. That is a base tenet of that particular religion!

Golden the Pony Girl said...

What a nice looking horse. Looks like you guys had some really nice moments there!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Hi, u two look great! Have you lowered your stirrups..I did that (when riding) and it helped my balance a ton! Forced me to sit deep and not perch forward which I tend to do. Salmen is beautious! He looks big, how tall? Love how dark he is!