Friday, July 4, 2014

4th July, 2014 You are My Sunshine

I have had some splendid rides on Theoden since I got back and we're clocking up quite a mileage. I really feel that he is the right horse for me because I like nothing better than going out for a sensible hack with a good friend looking at our wonderful wildlife and the New Forest ponies. This morning we went down to the Rufus Stone and towards the aptly named Canterton.

It's the first chance I have had to practice some of the things I observed at the Mark Rashid clinic. As a result Theoden has become softer in his mouth (and in his mind) and is giving me an outline without going too far behind the vertical. He will now stretch out to wherever the bit is offered without leaning on it or pushing through the reins. I have built this up very slowly, asking for just two, sometimes six, sometimes four strides before thanking him with a definite release. We are now up to twenty to twenty five strides and I feel I could ask for more. (Note to self: I must get my heels down a bit more!)

You may have noticed the 'barnacles' on the reins in the pictures above. That's because Theoden has a habit of putting his nose to the bottom of the trough and blowing bubbles. He collects blanket weed as he comes back up. Petra on the other hand prefers to splash about. Never play with your food but it is okay to play with your water!