Spring has sprung and that means the horsey brain is scattered. Especially an entire horse’s brain (stallion or mare, means you’ve got hormones to cope with. And even geldings get a bit goofier in spring). Mocha’s going through her first big seasonal cycle of the year and it’s made her a bit more opinionated than usual. Nothing big, for me at least at this point in her training and my riding skill. Monday night she was flinging her head and feet around like a Saddlebred. I swear she studied the moves of those Saddlebreds at the last show, because boy there was a certain bit of higher step to her motion in the week after…and now again this week. She’s moving like G’s old Park Arab schoolies used to (seriously, both Arab schoolies had shown and placed well showing in Park classes in the 1980s, both were Raffon grandget and man did both of them have this HUGE Park trot. Which is actually quite fun to sit in a Western saddle). Not that Mocha can step as high as Teso or Moriah, but she does a decent Quarter Horse imitation.
Anyway. Monday her head was high and her feet were high, plus she was a wee bit stiff. I finally got tired of trying to get her to settle into softening and took the reiner’s cheat out–we schooled lope. Collected lope, hand gallop. Ask for a collected sitting trot for a couple of circuits first, work on three circuits of collected lope, then push on for three circuits of hand gallop. Rein back to collected lope for three circuits, push on for three more hand gallop circuits. Change direction, two circuits of collected sitting trot, then the lope circuits. Change direction, lather, rinse, repeat. Change direction again, etc, etc, etc. By the fourth set both of us were hollering uncle. To pull off the lope transitions I really, really needed to work my abs, sink my heels hard, and sit up. Which has challenges of its own. Nonetheless I got good transitions.
Plus Mocha is really liking the KK Ultra bridoon in the Western snaffle strap gear. She’s not so thrilled about the dropped noseband but at least she doesn’t get too intense about trying to shake the damned thing off until the very end of her session. We’ve made that compromise, but I tell you, once the Professional’s Choice boots come off, she’s working on shaking off that dropped noseband and doesn’t wait for me. Even so, she likes it better than having a double noseband and, y’know? I’ll take a pass on showing in English tack if the movement she gives as a result is what I’ll get.
Monday she wouldn’t soften to the bit but today she would and was very light. The other thing is that I am really, really liking the feel of latigo leather reins on that KK bit. Just a bit more stiffness and weight without the godawful feel of the English leather reins. Web reins are just too damned light for schooling and with the way my hands are these days, the leather support is nicer. I feel things better. Mocha responds with a lighter touch, and damn! I am getting some strong, hard, killer stops with this setup. Better than with the same saddle in the curb, better than the same bit with English tack. I just breathe the word “whoa” and she rounds up, drops her head, and stops. I’m frequently in the position featured in many Monte Foreman clinic shots when she does it in this snaffle setup.
I’ve also talked to G about trying out his sweet iron mullen mouth curb. He calls it a Weymouth, I don’t think that’s exactly what it is but it’s close. Very nice mullen mouth on the thinner side, slot at the top for a snaffle rein so you could do a Pelham with it. It looks a lot like a Monte Foreman curb; if Mocha likes it that’s probably what I’ll look for. Rather than just run out for a replacement for what I have now, I think I want to check out some other curb options. We’re doing well in the Western snaffle and I’m happy with that for the moment but I want curb options, not just for show but for when it warms up and she’s limbered up a bit more. I’ve fallen in love all over again with Western snaffle and I think this spring I’m going to indulge that love. I’m not going to get real intense about bit shopping until after her float next week.
And on other fronts….Norwescon this weekend. No panelage, I’m not a big enough name/don’t have the inside connections. NBD. That would have put too much pressure on me for this upcoming weekend and with writing and work stuff, I just really didn’t need that pressure.
Miscon, on the other hand…oh boy, am I looking forward to Miscon!
But yeah. I am just now realizing how Radcon filled an East Side travel void that didn’t happen this year and won’t happen until Miscon. Of course this has turned out to be the Rainy Cold Winter From Hell. Must plan better for next winter, unless it turns out to be a sunny El Nino.
Meanwhile, work is work. I’m still processing inputs from the Allan Schore study group last week. Seriously one of those three hour groups that flew by in moments and I’m still just stunned by the details. However, I’m beginning to see how Interpersonal Neurobiology can apply to special ed, at least how I apply it. Instinct came first, then the logic.
And I need to develop further posts.
I told Steve Barnes I have some thoughts about meditation and exercise. I need to write that post.
I have some thoughts about aging and worklife. At some time that needs to get written.
I need to digest Allan Schore. OMG, Allan in person is extremely intense.
Lots of stuff happening. But it’s all early stage “in-progress” stuff, nothing which will bear fruit very soon.
And I haven’t begun to express how I feel about politics right now.