Friday, February 19, 2016

Searching for Even Contact

Except for days involving vet visits and frozen ground, I have been riding each day I am at the barn. Roscoe has worked 3 days this week with some ups and downs. His transitions continue to be tough. I have to be mean for the first few before he finally picks up trot when I ask with just leg. Then about half way through the ride, he will get sticky again. I really hope this phase passes.
The other issue is that I can't seem to have even contact when we track left. My outside rein is inconsistent and Roscoe bulges his shoulder. I can get him to step over and fill the rein for a stride or so then it is gone. Getting him to lift and move his shoulders takes an act of Congress. I played around with working on myself which helped a little. I think I have a tendency to put my right shoulder forward, so I worked to roll it backwards every few strides. Plus I tried to keep my eyes to the outside. It actually seemed to help, if only for a short time.
Now I need to figure out how to help Roscoe. Anyone have any ideas?

On a cool side note, a study was done to test the effect of hay bags on rate and amount of hay consumed by adult horses. I was pleased to see that the study reflected what we have seen: our horses have hay for a longer period of time, but at lower quantities while using the 1" hay nets. For seven horses, we use between 20 and 23 bales a week. That is down from the 30 plus bales we used to feed.

And the foal pools are open until April, so get your guesses ready.


  1. Bridget does this exact same thing (sticky, popping left shoulder). We do lots of spirals and lots of square corners, the idea in both being she stays as straight as possible and moves her shoulders around. I check in on that in walk at the start of every ride...but because she tends to get sticky, as soon as I get a good corner or circle, I trot or canter straight out to keep her thinking about forward. Then repeat...slow down as much as I need to to get a correct circle/corner , then back out in a straight line and ask her to move out(great way to play with collecting/lengthening too ) Its really helped her! Good luck :)

    1. That definitely sounds like something to play with Roscoe. And making sure forward follows the slow work is great. He tends to slow way down when he works correctly. I don't think he can multitask right now :) Thanks!