Monday, September 21, 2009

Shopping, posting and flexing

I'm still saddle shopping and I think I'm inappropriately in love. It's an off brand saddle and I probably won't bid on it because I can't find anything about the brand anywhere online. You can find it here.

I love the shape and color and simplicity (no tooling) and love that it has a short skirt too. But I'm pretty paranoid about off brands. So I probably won't bid. probably. (come one, someone talk me into it! lol)

Today we took another set of lessons from the trainer. I have more to work on and overall everything went great. Adam even learned to bit Lily.

Now Lily will take a bit readily - if you know what you're doing. I never realized I was just doing it for everyone and never forcing them to do it. This is why I wouldn't make a good teacher. I'm too focused on accomplishing the task rather than teaching the task.

It took Sierra 30 minutes to get her bitted and pretty much the same for Adam.

Lily is such a good teacher, she really is. She won't do it unless you have some ability to figure it out.

Cibolo got a bit irritated with the repeated flexing we were doing and when I got off him I could tell he was just bummed. But he's very forgiving and he eventually started palling around again.

The thing about Cibolo is that he seems somewhat resentful of repetition. So while I listen to the trainer and flexed over and over on my lesson, I want to make sure to reward and stop the first time he does it correctly. As long as his turns get more curvy, I think we're good.

Plus there's this weird thing about flexing.

By flexing I mean the kind when you turn your horses head to your stirrup. I do it on the ground, but never did it much in the saddle. I've done plenty of hindquarter one rein stops (Canyon flashback here). But she wanted Cibolo to float to a circular stop. To give to the rein and curve his body because he's a little stiff. So she wanted more flexing at a stop and all the way to the stirrup.
So here's the weird thing about flexing this way. John Lyons is sort of in a different camp about flexing to your stirrup (and I'm walking a line between my 3 favs: Parelli, Lyons, and Rashid. hopefully they don't all show up at my door at once and ask me to choose!). John's like "look, when you pick up that rein, your horse should do something. stop pulling his head around. It's not doing anything."

Yea. Me and John. We are on a first name basis around here. Ha!

Anyway, I sort of lean this way. But I don't know much about riding, I'm very much learning. So I'm trying to figure out what works well. I know part of why she wants me to work on this this way is because he noses out so much, he needs more discipline there. And she's a Parelli based trainer, mostly.


Anyway, I think I know how Cibolo would vote. Flex schlex. where's the cookies?

Oh. And I'm really figuring out how to post. I'd say I'm at 60% on take off and 80% once we're going. It lasts a little longer too, breaking down at every other turn (which is a massive improvement, trust me).

I'm probably on the wrong shoulder or what ever, but I can feel the rhythm. Cibolo is doing better at keeping the trot going, which helps (I guess he's better since I'm not like some crazy monkey on his back, right?).

And here is this week's gratuitous ear shot:

Isn't he handsome?


One Red Horse said...

As a recovering ebay saddle junkie, I know what great deals you can find and what junk you can get stuck with. I've done both. Here are two links to different Easy Rider saddles


If it is a sugar creek easy rider, jump on it. They look awesome. Don't know about the other company. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of lateral flexing - I do a little bit of it to help the horse relax its neck muscles - but I don't want to end up with "rubber neck" either, and I don't do the nose-to-stirrup thing. And I also don't do lots of repetitions - if the horse gets it after three or so repetitions, I stop. I might come back to it later or the next day to confirm that its learned, and to give the horse an easy task to do well.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yes, he is handsome. In that last photo, he looks as if he has bedhead. hehe!

I got burned on eBay too many times. I don't buy anything through there anymore. So, I'm not much help. Sorry. I do hope you find the perfect saddle for you, though.

Baby Doll appreciates Cibolo's views on flexing, too. If I make her flex she gives me the evil equine eye and then demands if she just completed an amazing high wire balancing act or something. lol!


Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Ok here is my thought. Have you ever seen a horse try to itch a spot on his ribs? He tends to swing his head around and take a wild stab at hitting the hitchy spot. Have you ever seen a horse turn his head that far around (on his own) around and look comfortable and relaxed doing it? Maybe you have but in my mind it is not comfortable for the horse and maybe not even good for him. So my opinion is that I dont look for a nose to my knee position. I take my inside rein, give a pre-cue (slide my hand up and down the rein once) then reach about to the crest of the shoulder down the rein, take a hold and slowly bring my hand to the inside of my thigh. The head of my horse is bent to the inside but his nose is no where near my knee. There I hold. As soon as I feel that neck relax and the rein relax slightly I drop my rein. I do the same thing at a walk but only drop my rein when he comes to a stop.

Then I work on the hip. At a walk I do the same pre-cue then take a hold of my rein and bring my rein hand to my belly button. I hold it there and turn my head over my shoulder to look at my horses inside leg is on, outside leg is off. I hold that position until the horse crosses over in the hind end and the hip disengages at which point I drop the rein.

Once those two points are in place I simply had to reach for that rein and bring it to my belly button and my horse would stop and his hip would disengage.

Anne Coyle said...

While I understand it's always nice to get something at a good price, I have to urge you to be really, really careful about off-brands. Usually, there's a REASON WHY they are off-brands. I prefer sticking with well known names when buying saddles, other tack, and even equestrian riding apparel, after several dismal experiences with "great prices" from unknown manufacturers and virtual sellers. All I will say is that it was an expensive lesson.