Day 2 of Clinic

Good morning, Friends!

Day 2 of the Brandi Lyons No Limits clinic came overcast and cold, with temperatures at freezing!  A great motivator to get moving!  Warming up with bridlework and mounting up!  The day before Whiskey gave me a great hip over at the mounting block, such a great focusing exercise and one to build precision with!

After warm up, Brandi requested a ride on Whiskey!  He was quite excited and gave it his high stepping best!  He wanted to shy at the noise of the speakers set up by the auditing benches.  Brandi worked him at the “long and low” as a warm-up exercise at the trot.  We revisited this on the last day.

Our focus for the day was groundwork with a lot of shoulder over, starting on the far arena wall and working towards the speakers and audit area, since this gave plenty of opportunity for spooking.

We also went to a separate area and worked on sacking him out to noisy plastic bags, and such, to help Whiskey settle and keep his focus.

The rest of the afternoon was focused in the saddle, starting again at the far arena wall and working towards the speakers and audit benches.  We used two cones and did figure eights with the shoulder over, increasing our precision with the feet.  Brandi calls this the barrel pattern.

For the last exercise of the day, we practiced the “lay down”.  This starts with the head down cue from the saddle, using a “milking the reins” techniques, a contact and release when the head lowers.

Angela Tanner had started Whiskey on this at the barn, so he picked up the finishing touches quickly!  After this is achieved, we are done, and Whiskey is put up for the evening relaxation and dinner!

It was a great day!

Terri

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Finally Summer!

Good morning, Friends!

Wow, a long Winter’s nap we had!  While I was glad to have gotten an early start to the season tune-up in February, the long, overcast days had me setting aside my motivation for blogging, so here I am, catching up my progress!

With preparation started, Whiskey and I attended the Brandi Lyons Horsemanship clinic, a four day “vacation” to reconnect and push progress further.  I had not been on Whiskey for a year, and, while I live with him at home, our progress got sidelined with Smokey and her progress!

Settling in for clinicDuring tune-up preparation at Angela Tanner’s, a certified Brandi Lyons instructor, Whiskey was taught the hip over for mounting up.  I love this for focus!  He was also started on the lay down.  Horsemanship has evolved over the years to encompass these skills for a well rounded horse and partnership.  These skills are a combination of cues that are taught and then combined.  For example, the lay down starts with the head down cue given in the saddle.  This has taught both Smokey and Whiskey to ride with a loose rein.  Power steering comes from taking up one side or the other rein, using the outside leg with the inside rein for your directional aid.

Another “new” skill is the shoulder over.  Whiskey and I need to work on this for better trot-to-canter transitions on a circle.  He needs this for his Cowboy Dressage, but more importantly, for control of his front end and feet.

Shoulder over starts on the ground after basic bridle work is started, and progresses to the saddle.  Whiskey and I did a lot of this in clinic.

As mentioned, while Whiskey is a seasoned show horse, it seemed to be a trigger to be at a “new” arena!  He was quite ramped up at the start of the clinic!  And to be fair, I had not taken him anywhere for a year, except for Angela Tanner’s facility, where he had a chance to relax in the new environment!  My goal is to have him be relaxed no matter where we may find ourselves!

Because of his excitement, I remained on the ground doing bridlework for warm-up on Day One of the clinic.  Everyone else was mounted up, even though their horses were also displaying signs of being somewhere new!  However, I saw no need to be in the saddle until things calmed down and we could be better focused!

After observing everyone, Brandi had a few words for each of us.  She very graciously complemented me in staying on the ground under the “pressure” of everyone else being mounted.  I’m willing to do what my horse needs and seems appropriate at any given moment.  We all have to deal with the horse that presents right here, right now!  By the end of the day, I was in the saddle and we were on our way!

Terri

 

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