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Monday, May 31, 2010

Ryan Yap Lesson #1

So I had my "first" in a long time Ryan Yap lesson on Fire on Friday. It went better than I would have expected for an over weight Oreo of a horse being pushed for an entire hour with no break.

To begin with, Ryan had me identify to him our big weak points, which currently are the all encompassing fact that Fire wants to be lazy and not correctly engage his hind end which makes him not then correctly come through the back and to the bridle. This of course, messes up the universe as we know it. There were other little things that I mentioned to Ryan, but we both knew that everything stems from the fact that fattie pants horse doesn't want to activate his HUGE rump and get movin'.

So, we begun our work. Ryan worked my brain by asking me to do quick trot walk transistors into 10m circles in renveres. The first time I did it I took a bit to think about the bend and what had to be compromised of all those cues to ask for all of those things because they seemed so counter intuitive. To ask for a ten meter circle right, and a walk transition, and then at the same time begin renvere left which causes the body to bend left on that right circle is just well... hard. I was so proud of my black and white little cow though, he didn't break down or even stiffen up! He took my cues and went with the flow of the training like a little dressage trooper. We moved through other training exercises, like leg yields on and off the wall in zip zags which I also thought would blow the little man's mind (and didn't.)

I guess all in all I was super proud of the performance that Fire gave, aside from the one mini tantrum that happened at minute 45 that lasted a short 1/2 circle burst before settling down again. I think I learned a lot from Ryan in the lesson about correct riding and how to move things forward in our training, but I also learned that Fire is growing up and that he can handle a lot more and that I don't need to baby him as much as I have been. I've seen so many horses get pushed thorugh training so quickly and watched them hate it and break down that I would hate myself if I did that to a horse that I would rather go too slow than too fast, but I don't want to bore Fire or make things mundane. Obviously he's strong enough and ready for the next few steps in his training. And I've got a great trainer that will help us get there.

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