Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Foreign Exchange: Part 2 The Lesson

The couple from Israel were really impressed with Roscoe and Comade. Last year Anita rode Comrade and this time Giora did. Anita has an eventing background and Giora a dressage and reining one. As I mentioned before they run INTRA, in addition to their own riding. Now they mentioned they were happy we cleaned our smaller turnouts daily. For us, that is just the best way to deal with lots of horses on a small area. For them it is a must. They have 20 horses on 2 ACRES. Can you imagine that? They make it work though.
I am not sure whether he offered or Peggy asked, but the results were that I was able to get a lesson from Giora with commentary from Anita. Peggy and Mom were suppose to ride with me, but that was the day Mom cleaned the old barn. Peggy decided to ride the next day. So I had to decide who to ride. Dottie and Winston, at this point, don't have the fitness for a lesson. DaVinci or Rosemary could handle it. But which one to pick? I decided to go with Rosemary in order to get some help getting her on track.
Eye on the prize :) Photo credit Bonnie Foster

I tacked and went to warm her up. Giora came out and I explained that she was really green. Her education was well behind where she should be. While she has walk, trot and canter, she does not immediately respond to cues. He decided to watch her on a circle. Rosemary gave her nice big walk. She also decided looking to the right suited her mood. When we picked up trot, Giora told me to slow her down. "There's no rush." He wanted her even slower than what I expected. Some times she felt as if she would break gait, but when she did not rush she listened to what I was asking better.
Giora had me hold my hands about shoulder width, with the outside steady and the inside massaging her mouth. Rosemary impressed me by never hollowing out completely like she has in the past. She had some really great moments of softness. When she was consistent, Giora had me put her on a smaller circle to engage her hind end in preparation for canter. He really wanted me to move her hind end inside, but without spurs she was moving into the pressure rather than away. Definite note to self, wear spurs.
Giora told me to sit the trot. I have a fairly good seat. After working with him, I have a better seat. He constantly reminded me to stay soft and grow upwards, not forward. Plus he really wants you to feel the horses motion beneath you. Left side, right side, left side... Then the hard part came, asking for canter. In the small arena Rosemary is hard to get into canter. After tough trot work, it was even harder. Giora closed the gate when Rosemary tried to make a run for it. She would literally leap into canter, then run for the gate.
"See I can Canter...When I want too" Photo credit Bonnie Foster

He really wanted me to swing my inside hip forward to help her canter, but both of us were not connecting. I know what movement he wants and have done it on DaVinci, but with Rosemary the pieces were not there. I could tell Rosemary was getting tired and knew I would not achieve the exercise, so I asked if Giora wanted to get on. He said yes.
This is when the fun really started. Rosemary tends to surprise people with her movement. I don't think they expect what she can give from a pony. Giora had to take a bit to get used to her before trying the exercise. I will say Giora could not get her to do it either. That just means she needs more prep work to be ready for what we ask. Rosemary decided that showing off her huge Cob trot was better than cantering. Then Anita stepped in to give him advice. She put up a small cavaletti to see if Rosemary would pick up canter over the jump. Ha, ha I should have told her Rosemary would rather go around or through than over. Giora did manage to get her to trot over twice before Rosemary protested. The husband/wife dynamic was hysterical. "Giora, look up" "Keep her going, give her her head" Eventually Rosemary would trot over the jump and then pick up canter right after. Her transitions did improve and Giora ended by completing a lap at canter and going over a pole.
Pony girl was tired, but looked satisfied by the challenge. I got back on and cooled her out.

Giora recommended using a hill to help her pick up canter. It naturally puts her on her rear and makes her push into the canter. We have used that technique with Dottie before. I wish I could have joined them for dinner because Peggy said he talked more about Rosemary and how to help her. It figures I would connect with an instructor that lives across the world. At least I have some direction to go with Rosemary and some manageable goals.

Up next Show Recap :)
 A Picture of Roscoe looking Sweet, Amazing
Photo Credit Bonnie Foster


  1. Catching up on comments - this has been so cool to follow! What a neat experience!

    1. Me too, on the catching up. It was definitely a great experience that has lasting resulfs.