Wednesday, February 24, 2010
...and Our Passagey thing is getting better....
To View With Full Screen Option go to northwood's youtube
Nigel and I are slowly working on a more elevated trot moving towards passage and then piaffe. We don't have that much going on from the hind legs yet (thus the head in the air to lift himself up)...but its just in the last week or so that he's really gotten the idea of upwards in the front with his energy....so...I figure .... when we've got that on cue we'll just add more forwards which will really be just more impulsion from the back UPWARDS!
Even though it might look better...I am NOT willing to tie his head down to a surcingle at this point. I want the truth about where we are and allow him the freedom to do what he needs to in his body to sort it out.
I'm thinking that the ears and the highheadedness will improve like it has on the circling game, the squeeze, the back-up etc... I know he's not hating me because actually, he's looking at me more and more eagerly with two ears forward and coming to me to put his nose in the halter each day. More than ever! Plus he's the one that's offering this passagey thing...it is in general a dominant behavior so that probably is also contributing to the ears...I just make sure I'm balancing it with a nice respectful back up and all manners of the driving game.
I don't want to be greedy..... I guess I'm a little insecure about the way our relationship looks at this stage...but I mean really...does everyone else's passage look beautifully harmonious at first??? And he's OFFERING!!! I am NOT forcing him. I'm simply just asking for a bit more effort ( a bit more extreme yoyo game ) before a rest and a treat. I admit though I can't wait for it to look prettier.
One more note for posterity...I had just gotten on after filming this...we were doing our forehand yields and oh my god a deer appeared on the hill behind the arena! Nigel had a big ol sideways spook and a nice loud snort. Yikes! Thank goodness for being on my balance point. (thank you Linda and my fusion saddle) I hopped off and after a few disengagements of the hindquarters, turn face and wait, he was calmly standing with a leg cocked licking and admiring the gorgeous creatures.
I got back on and decided to make the rest of the session about relaxation and confidence. Lots of partial disengagements, walking pirouettes (getting better too), the Figure 8 Pattern*, sideways and backwards. Then a few really nice trot walk trot walk transitions on that pattern. He started to really relax his ribcage so we stopped in the middle.
After just a few moments he sighed and blew out!!! I remember last summer when he would not do that! He'd just hold it and hold it. I thought about riding for tomorrow...so I got off. Yahooo!