Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 48 & 49

Two for one blog posts today!! Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I was really busy with school and was up late working on homework.  When it came time to write Marley's blog, I couldn't keep my eyes open so I decided to write two of them today.  Also, Katherine gave me her photos and video from day 47, so I will post that below day 48.  Almost done with school for the semester, and then lots of training!


Day 49
Today was another very busy day with school work, and as much as I would have loved to ride because it was so beautiful out, I couldn't swing it.  I got to the barn with enough daylight to take Marley out for a run and a little bit of brushing.  It's probably not terrible for Marley, even though I really really want to ride, as the work we are doing under saddle now is building muscle and Marley get's tired pretty quickly.  I'm sure his muscles are getting sore, just like ours do when we start a new work out program, so a day off here and there in between rides probably feels pretty good.  I wish there weren't so many in this last week though!!  I'm almost finished with school for the semester however, and that means I get to spend lots of time training and conditioning.  I'm really looking forward to that.
Photo by Katherine Payne
Day 48
We had an awesome ride today and got some great training in on the ground.  To start, Marley was tied up to the arena fence where I always tack him up, and someone in a truck decided they would try to drive closely behind him.  Marley thought otherwise and pulled back (for his first time ever by the way) and his rope halter came untied.  His immediate instinct was to run the other way, but when I ran to try to herd him back towards the stall area (my immediate reaction was that it was much safer) he turned directly towards me.  You could tell he was spooked, but it's as if he was saying "what do I do now?!?".  Katherine was able to get me the halter and he let me walk up and put it on.  I was amazed, really, that during his instinctual flight response, he wanted to know where I was going in this terrifying situation.

Once that was behind us and we were back to being tied up and groomed next to the arena, I tacked up Marley and brought him to the round pen to start.  I have started Marley in the round pen the last few rides to get him moving correctly on his own before I get on him.  I think it will also help him in his canter work under saddle.  It really has helped, as Marley usually plays with the bit to start, but within a couple of minutes he is moving quietly into contact.  I only work him on the ground for about 10 minutes, and by the time I get on him he starts to immediately move into my hands.  I think in the coming weeks I will really see an improvement in Marley's muscling and his straightness under saddle.  We are still a little wiggly, meaning Marley moves around a lot and has a difficult time staying straight, even on a circle.  Most younger horses I have worked with encounter this, and I try to make it really rewarding for Marley when he is soft and straight.  This will also improve with fitness as it takes muscle that Marley is just building to move with his hind end engaged and into a frame.

To finish our session we got some great canter work in.  Marley gets really worried when I get into two-point (standing in the stirrups in a galloping/jumping position).  Today he finally realized I wasn't going to jump up his neck though, and as I eased into a two-point position he settled into a nice hand gallop in the large arena.  It was really great to feel him start to move freely in the canter, as that is still our toughest gait, and I was really satisfied with his improvement today. 

Day 47 Photos
Photo by Katherine Payne 

Photo by Katherine Payne

Photo by Katherine Payne
Photo by Katherine Payne


















Marley's Bow!!!
Photo by Katherine Payne Photography
Photo by Katherine Payne
Photo by Katherine Payne














Photo by Katherine Payne
Photo by Katherine Payne
Photo by Katherine Payne














video

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