Highland Pony Enthusiasts Club
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Sticking at an exercise
Jeanette
Administrator
********




Posts: 13184
Registered: 9-5-2007
Location: Hampshire
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 05:06 PM
Sticking at an exercise



Ages ago, when Rannoch was a baby , I used to take him to clicker clinics with Alexandra Kurland.

AK used to have pet phrases which she repeated many times, so they stuck in the minds of her students.
One such phrase, ironically , was that you should stick at an exercise long enough to see what good things
it will bring you.

I thought of this phrase this morning.

Rannoch and I have had a little exercise on the short reins which we've done on and off for about 3 years now. It's an exercise
which can be done before work and simply involves walking him down a gentle hill on the short reins until we get to our usual turning point
then turning round and coming back up the hill. The route takes about 20 minutes all in.

When we first started the exercise the goal was to simply make it there and back without Rannoch taking himself off on a jolly on his own.
Then it became about rewarding moments of walking with purpose and in self carriage. Very gradually (over 3 years) those moments
lengthened until he could stay in a softly draped outline on a relaxed contact with tummy held in, the hind feet overtracking the fronts and tail
carried throughout. So then we tried it in trot and all went pear shaped. He was too rushy and drifting into me. So we worked on short moments
of trot and back to walk and staying straight. This morning we got that and a softly draped outline and with me doing only a gentle jog. ...only for a
few strides mind you. I could swear Rannoch had a twinkle in his eye.
"Look at me, look at me. I bet this is what you wanted all along isn't it?!" The humbug.

But then I thought about it.

Why has it taken so long to get this far?

I asked myself three years ago (pre pilates classes) could I have walked up hill, holding my tummy toned, my shoulders relaxed, back and down and chin
not jutting out? The answer is no, I couldn't. I can now, but I have to think about it. Could I do the same thing running? No, I've only just been able to run at all
and that was built up from walking for a bit then running for a bit then walking for a bit...and I can only do that now because I've got more core
strength than I used to have.

Then I thought about what motivation Rannoch had to build up his core strength?...ermh...a few pony nuts and sometimes some little chunks of carrot or
apple...and since Jack arriving he seems pleased to be the chosen one and has decided that its not always fun to be the one left in the field.

What motivation did I have to build up my core strength...well, I wanted to be able to ride better, to survive endurance rides, fit into my jeans, feel nice,
not fall over as an old lady etc etc ......the list goes on!

Muse over!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Andrea
Posting Freak
****




Posts: 1359
Registered: 10-1-2010
Location: Surrey
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 05:44 PM


Great post, Jeanette. Thanks so much for posting these thoughtful and thought provoking comments, as you often do, which certainly benefit me, and I'm sure lots of others. I couldn't walk up hill with my tummy toned, shoulders relaxed etc to save my life.

But I'm coming away with the thought that we and our ponies progress gradually, so that on a daily basis we may not feel much has changed, but looking back over several years we can see how far we have come. Thinking of Nutmeg: I now work on Straightness Training with the help of my sister, who is further down that path than I am. Nutmeg is now stronger, balanced, and can do shoulders in and travers happily in walk, and beginning lateral work in trot and canter circle work, all balanced and soft. She backs up to a featherlight touch as far as I wish. And overall is a superstar! She has come a long way since this rather timid, very anxious to please, rigid toast rack who almost fell over when she tried to canter and couldn't begin to trot or canter in a circle, that I started riding just over 2 years ago. All the little steps add up! And as has been said by wiser people than myself, it is the journey that makes it all worthwhile, not the destination.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jeanette
Administrator
********




Posts: 13184
Registered: 9-5-2007
Location: Hampshire
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 07:26 PM


Tell us more Andrea. how did you teach shoulder in and travers? I've had various attempts to teach shoulder in but seemed to have successfully taught Rannoch how to pop a shoulder which I don't think is the idea at all! We can just about do a sideways down a pole sort of movement i.e crossing front legs then back legs alternately. Id be very interested to hear how Marike de Jong ( sp?) teaches this.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Andrea
Posting Freak
****




Posts: 1359
Registered: 10-1-2010
Location: Surrey
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 09:53 PM


Have a look at Marijke de Jong's Straightness Training website. I'm doing the Home Study course, and just loving it. There is a lot of incredibly useful free material on the website that is well worth looking at. Nutmeg and I benefited from previously having learnt to sidepass both on the ground and under saddle, following Clinton Anderson's methods. So she already knew how to move sideways off the leg. Then depending on where you put your leg on (on or behind the girth) combined with moving the shoulders over with the reins and setting up the correct bend, give you whichever lateral movement you want, in essence. It's a bit difficult to write about clearly! Come over to Guildford and I'll show you! The essence of ST is to keep the horse's weight central, i.e to stop the shoulders moving out (or in) when they shouldn't. A whip tap on the shoulder helps a lot. The Clinton Anderson Fundamentals course set us up well for the ST, as it taught her to soften and move her ribs, forehand or quarters away from the leg, depending on where you put the leg on. Once they know how to move away from the leg, the lateral movements become very simple to teach.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
FoxyThyme
Posting Freak
****




Posts: 1984
Registered: 6-11-2013
Location: Liverpool
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 09:58 PM


Very interesting, it certainly gives me encouragement to really work at my groundwork.

The idea of a little exercise before work is good.We started that with my instructor on my week of long lessons and I can do a hill but will do it on long reins

After a week away I took Thyme into the outdoor school last night in halter and long rope and we just did walk trot and stand on a loose line side by side, basically to stretch her legs as on limited turnout. Tonight went to do the same and she really marched to the outdoor, no hesitation at all and did the same, I did feel that if I let her loose she would be good but as the gate has fallen off didnt want to risk it. Her enthusiasm was wonderful, perhaps time off to think about it helped, long may it continue and hopefully will get there with me on board instead of just on the ground.

Your comments and ideas are very encouraging.

Emma at boot camp said she knows all, lateral work, shoulder in etc but doesnt let on
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jeanette
Administrator
********




Posts: 13184
Registered: 9-5-2007
Location: Hampshire
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 5-11-2015 at 12:21 PM


Thanks Andrea, your explanations were really helpful. Also I didn't realise that Marijke de Jong's website has a lot more free information on it than the last time I looked.

Foxy Thyme.....funny how day two of an exercise goes so much smoother isn't it! Well done


View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB 1.9.11
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2009 The XMB Group
[Queries: 18] [PHP: 70.8% - SQL: 29.2%]