Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Third Time's the Charm

Miss Emi has been having some rather interesting lessons lately...KB works regularly with Alfredo Hernandez. If you are familiar with him he's a big piaffe/passage person and he does a lot of this work in hand. KB is quite skilled at this from her time working with Alfredo and we had discussed introducing the in hand stuff to Emi. I have had the opportunity to watch two of his clinics so I knew what to expect.

Lesson #1: The big theme of this lesson was that Emi's default response to pressure is to charge forward. This has always been true, even as a foal. This resulted in a lesson of "running over me is never the answer." Oops! KB did comment that Emi will learn to piaffe very easily as she was already offering the idea as KB was working on other stuff with her.

Unsure? Just jump!
Lesson #2: This is where things went an unexpected direction. I thought we had gotten the hard part out of the way in lesson #1, but more trouble was waiting. Although Emi was significantly better about not attempting to push in to KB she was very dull to the whip and was not quick to move over, like she was being asked. What started as tapping turned in to whacking and then Emi decided she just wasn't going to do anything....so she stopped. Great, now we learned that too much pressure and she'll shut down. KB changed the subject and her technique a bit and the lesson recovered a little bit but it still ended up with Emi covered in sweat and not much good progress. Ugh. KB and I were both disappointed that the lesson didn't go better than that. When we left KB told me to let her know how Emi seemed the next couple of days, if she was grumpy, jumpy, or seemed fine. Of course as soon as I took her lead rope Emi seemed fine and in perfectly good spirits, and that trend continued throughout the week.

Fast forward to today, lesson #3: night and day difference! Not only did we keep the "you don't run me over" part of lesson number #1 but we also had the "you must respond when you are asked something" from lesson number #2. Emi was a bit nervous but a good kind of nervous, reactive but not stupid. The progressed from her yielding her hind quarters, to doing it in side reins so her neck was more straight, to doing nice "leg yields." It was awesome! From there, as she was getting Emi more engaged and crossing over Emi sat down! Her butt dropped and she traveled along like a Grand Prix horse for a 4-5 steps. This happened a couple of times and was so impressive! We also saw hints of piaffe again. I think the stinker pony is more talented than I expected! This time Emi wasn't sweaty at all! I'm so glad we gave it one more shot. Our plan is to incorporate 10-15 minutes per lesson and then ride the rest of the lesson. I will try to get some video next time so you can see what I'm talking about but it was seriously cool. 


11 comments:

  1. Tough life of a baby horse! She's gonna be so cool!

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  2. Fun! There's a trainer up here (who used to work with Alfredo I believe) who comes to my trainer's barn once a month for in hand lessons. I really want to take Tony one of these times...we've played with the bamboo with him a bit, and he seems to take to it. He definitely has more talent for collection than extension ;)

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  3. Your/Emi's experience is a good reminder that short, repeated lessons often bring better results (in less time, all told) than a long, drawn-out "battle" to get what you want. Yay, Emi!

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    1. Yes! That's one of the reason I love our 30 minute lessons. It will be perfect to do 15 minutes in hand and 15 minutes under saddle in the coming weeks.

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  4. She just needed time to think about it! She's going to be awesome when she's done though.

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  5. So cool to see those glimpses of talent! Megan works with Alfredo I believe, he sounds like a cool trainer

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    1. Yes, his methods really do work. It's pretty cool.

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  6. I would so love to have access to an instructor that could teach my horse the advanced in hand stuff.

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