Training Progression of Bast: Part 2, The Early Rides
|We've moved on from lunging!|
**Almost all photos in this post were taken generously by Jan. This whole set of rides would have been so much harder without her around!
To start, our first ride didn't have much information. It was extremely straightforward and low-key. The only real training issue I came up against was Bast's inability to come to a halt long enough for me to get off.
|An uneventful first ride is always excellent.|
I made sure to have plenty of mints in my pockets for training rides after that!
Our second ride was the next morning in the outdoor. The weather was gross, but I didn't want Bast to have to deal with traffic right away, especially knowing his previous issues.
|Calm walks make me happy|
|First structured trot school|
There is a tendency for racehorses to be rather mouthy with the bit, especially when first being restarted off the track. Bast was no exception. He alternated between attempting to pull me out of the saddle, and trying his best to spit the bit out completely.
|"Let go!" -- Bast, probably|
We did end up trying the canter, which was exciting at first. He leapt into the canter in the departs, attempting to jump right into a gallop. Definitely not a bolt, just a misunderstanding between what I wanted and what he expected.
|Canter depart on the left, more civilized canter established on the right.|
|A very gallop-looking canter... no, I don't know why I'm a chicken in the photo on the left. Bawk. Bawk.|
The next day, I decided to put on even more pressure. I was still trialing Bast, and I wanted to see how quickly he could deal with pressure and think his way through questions. I started by ditching the ground person, and hopping right on. That was no problem at all.
|Can we halt? Yes?! What a good baby!|
|Not terribly engaged, but also not stressed. I'll take it!|
(Note, I don't use much pressure in the bit. I can't stand a heavy horse, and do not encourage a horse to take a heavy hold on the bit. When I say pressure, I mean a constant "thereness" of the rein, not actually pulling on the horses mouth to create a pressure.)
|Hollow and against the rein vs more accepting and carrying me forward. Again with my elbows being on a different planet from my body. Geesh.|
|On the left, Bast pulling against me. On the right, adding bend to encourage him to break the pressure and instead interact with the bit.|
|Attempting to turn...|
The little horse definitely rose to the pressure I put on him the second day of riding, however. He was making me really happy.
|Such a silly attitude!|
|Walk continued to be amazing.|
|Turning? What do you mean "turning?"|
I noticed over time that he would steer his shoulders away from thigh pressure, so we began working with that some. I also attempted to tap on his outside with my leg to get him to start to push more away from the outside on turns, instead of lean out.
|Bulging shoulder and rooting mouth anyone?|
Cantering we were able to begin to work on some circles...
|Doing my best to try not to pull for a turn.|
|That moment when you think you might somersault off the horse...|
|MUCH better balance here, though still very downhill and pulling himself forward like a gallop rather than pushing forward into a jumping canter.|
|Exactly what I didn't want to do: set up against his pulling with my body, thus also inhibiting him from stepping under and finding his balance. Sigh. I'm nowhere close to perfect, so I can just be happy these moments were few.|
|Giggling as Bast tries to find a way around my hands always being there. Note to self: keep those hands more steady next time. Geesh.|
|Staying positive was key in these rides, though I didn't realize at the time how much that praise was keeping Bast's confidence high.|
|Going well so far...|
|EXCITED EARS ARE EXCITED|
|Up next? The rides post Bast's field board introduction! Stay tuned!|