Schoolmasters know best?

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Today I had an important lesson with Sid. It was to make sure that my RI and I (and Sid!) are happy with his saddle fit before I hack him in it. So I tacked him up while she watched, mounted him from the block and the steps-by-the-gate, and rode him in the school at walk and trot.

Sid has been a lesson horse for years and it appears that he has Views on how lessons should be conducted. The person in the middle is the teacher and shall be obeyed. If you nap to her, sometimes you can stop working. When she says Trot, you trot.

Also, if the rider asks for trot at a corner once, it means that she is gong to do it every time.

He was unimpressed by my freedom of thought. What? Teacher says "Trot when ready" and you wait? and you make me wait? and then you don't ask on a corner? He humped his back and did little buckity bucks of displeasure. It took a few circuits before he agreed to listen to me and trot when I said, not when he thought he should.

He was very keen, eager to work and happy to trot whenever I liked although it was 28 degrees in the field. I was really interested to discover that I need to adjust my position to get the best out of him using completely different muscles from the ones I used for Ziggy. As usual, when I managed to get my body to do as my RI asked, Sid responded. He wasn't too thrilled about being asked to lift his back and use his abdominals, but he did!

My RI loves him and thought his teeny buckettes were just evidence of character. She gave me the green light to hack in my saddle, so yay! And next time we have a lesson it will be in the proper school with a proper surface and we will work on control of speed and direction at trot.

So exciting!

And afterwards I gave Sid a lovely cool bath - I rolled a big 40l container of clean water from the house over specially - and he loved it and fell asleep.
 
Last edited:

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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What does he do if you shorten the reins? My current share inteprets rein shortening as a signal to transition up a gait. i.e. go faster. To slow one needs to half halt or use ones legs. A bit sad really.
I am mystified by trotting at the corner. I dont think I have ever been asked to do this by an RI. Canter, yes, But not trotting.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I like that term "buckettes"! Is it a cob thing, these little ineffective, barely off the ground bucks? The only bucks I've experienced were very occasional wa hey! ones Ramsey did when having an exciting canter. Sid would appear to be very eager to please, and loving life with you - no wonder! I also will start telling people that Hogan's mini rodeos are "evidence of character" - has a nice ring to it! All that aside, I think you are going to have a wonderful time together.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
19,126
7,088
113
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Surrey Hills
What does he do if you shorten the reins?
Yes, he interprets that as preparing to go up a gait. Ziggy did too, which meant that I had taught it to him. I do tend to take up more of a contact for trot than walk - my error, as usual!
these little ineffective, barely off the ground bucks
Exactly! Like hops with the back end. I've not encountered them before but they made my RI laugh like a drain.
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Yes, he interprets that as preparing to go up a gait. Ziggy did too, which meant that I had taught it to him. I do tend to take up more of a contact for trot than walk - my error, as usual!

Exactly! Like hops with the back end. I've not encountered them before but they made my RI laugh like a drain.
I've struggled to describe them, but you've nailed it - twice! That's perfect - hops with the back end! I'm not sure if it's lack of malice, with Hogan, or too much tummy.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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He is such a smart boy. It's sad he has had such a regimented life. Riding school horses usually trot or canter from the corner on the longest side of the school and they get into the habit of generally ignoring the rider as much as possible and who can blame them really. He sounds like you got him out of there just in time for him to be able to adapt to express himself and show his personality more.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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. I do tend to take up more of a contact for trot than walk - my error, as usual!
I assume you mean a shorter rein, rather than altering the contact (the feel of the rein)
I dont regard it as an error. To transition up, the horse needs its hind legs under it. So you are helping the horse.

To walk, the horse will usually place its front hoof where its nose is. Hence the walk on a long rein across the diagonal in dressage.
 
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