Horsemanship can be tough
It’s a fantastic journey, full of hope and goals and excitment, but it also has its downs, stepbacks, and moments of doubts
And most of all, it’s a balancing act
Obviously physical balance…
… but a lot of emotional balance, as well. You (well, I, anyway) want to be fair, gentle and do as little as possible as it takes to bring the horse to embrace your ideas. However, truth is sometimes, you gotta firm up a little bit (or more…) in order to get things moving in the right direction
So here we are, prepping up for our 4th session with Nicolas Podetti, French horse trainer, Josh Lyon disciple, and competitive reiner
That’s this tall fellow, here
All my sessions start on the ground, practicing a little suppling routine
Chasing the elusive “spin”, on foot
What a sweet baby face, he’s still a big kiddo
Here I just hopped on, and our buddy photographer, Claude Macé, was ready to shoot away with his mighty Sony A77 II and Sigma 50-150/2.8 HSM zoom
We’re starting to introduce neck rein and driving with seat/legs
To this end I’m only tugging the bit if he doesn’t respond well
Then when get moving a tad more, at the trot
and lope. Two handed…
…and for the second time only, one handed (which is whole different ball game)
And never forgetting the back-up, which is a crucial element of Western riding
Once our coach showed up we headed to the outdoor arena, and got to serious work
Shaping up at the lope was one of our projects, as well as working on straightness
A little break. I love how his butt is starting to shape up 😉
And back to work. Half turn on the haunches, our coach emulating…
… a cow !
The SPIN !! Still some resistance here, but he’s starting to get it, and is properly crossing the outside front foot over the inside one (at last !)
Much more accepting here
YES ! (we’ve been struggling with this for over 2 months…)
More suppling drills
Overall a long, superbly productive, and yes, FUN session, for all of us. I couldn’t help but offer Nicolas to try the insane comfort of our Westwood Technique saddle, and it looked like this :
He kinda dwarfes my horse, doesn’t he ?!
Once up there, he couldn’t help but messing around a bit with the newly found spin…
Backing up into a tight circle
then… using a slight counterbend in foward motion. It works !
After over an hour of work, Joli was just cooked
How far we’ve come since that first day..
Stay tuned for more progress !