Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trainer Ride #1

Peebs had his first trainer ride Monday. I had told trainer that my biggest issue lately is his canter; it feels unbalanced and scrambly, not something I want to ride going up to a fence. She said he doesn't look that bad from the ground, and I think she was somewhat humoring me when she got on.

The first thing she said when she got on was to exclaim on how heavy he is in your hands. She really tried to push him forward in both the walk and trot, doing lots of changes of direction and circles. She said we need to work on getting him to carry himself more and become more flexible. 
Peebs expressing his opinions
Peebs was pretty sure he was being tortured and was quite expressive his his head. He's not a fan of lots of inside leg and someone having a strong feel of his mouth, which at the moment is what he needs. At the canter trainer really discovered just how big a hole Perbs has in his training. He absolutely doesn't want to be straight and alternates between going fast when leg is added and falling apart when you half halt. It's a delicate balance, and trainer was surprised at how hard he is to manage.  She told me I do a very good job of making him look better than he is and that she doesn't blame me for not wanting to canter fences on him.  She doesn't either! From my perspective on the ground, he doesn't look at as bad as she feels, so I understand what she was saying. 
I don't wanna be a good pony
Luckily, trainer doesn't think it will take much to get Peebs back in shape.  Just consistent riding, lots of transitions and changes of bend, and lots of walk breaks so he can process and relax.  He's a horse that needs a few minutes of walk on a loose rein to think about and calm down after something hard.  The more you push him, the tenser he becomes and right now we need a soft, relaxed Peebers. Once he softens, he can go on a super soft rein with just a few half halts and it feels amazing. It's just getting there that's the problem.

I did get on for ten minutes or so at the end, to feel the difference in him.  We did some trot-canter-trot work, focusing on having a soft feel in my hands (but to be prepared to hold and pick him up as needed) and getting him up and around my inside leg.  It was miles better than he normally is.  For now trainer wants to do trot-canter transitions with him since he tends to stay softer than walk-canters. We're supposed to do another trainer ride tomorrow, but its forcasted to be 100 so we'll see.


  1. Looks like trainer got some great stuff out of him! That second photo looks great!

  2. it's always such a relief when the trainer can get on and be like "OH YEA i see what you mean now!" haha. sounds like you two have a good plan moving forward too!

  3. transitions and changes of bend are my forever homework! It's nice when the trainer confirms what you're thinking and finds things to fix.

  4. Ramone was a lot like that needing some time to decompress after something hard or getting flustered. The approach definitely worked out.

  5. I always find it really valuable when someone else gets on and explains what they feel to me. Glad the first trainer ride was a success!

  6. Love it when a trainer or a more experienced rider than in rides my horse and comes away with ideas and/or a plan to tackle issues I've been coming up blank on.
    That last pic of Peebs is really cute