No pain, no gain

Joli12Avr15-19Horsemanship 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

Joli12Avr15-15And most of all, it’s a balancing act

Joli12Avr15-10PMObviously 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

Joli12Avr15-01So here we are, prepping up for our 4th session with Nicolas Podetti, French horse trainer, Josh Lyon disciple, and competitive reiner

Joli12Avr15-33That’s this tall fellow, here

Joli12Avr15-02All my sessions start on the ground, practicing a little suppling routine

Joli12Avr15-03Chasing the elusive “spin”, on foot

Joli12Avr15-04What a sweet baby face, he’s still a big kiddo

Joli12Avr15-05Here 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

Joli12Avr15-06We’re starting to introduce neck rein and driving with seat/legs

Joli12Avr15-07To this end I’m only tugging the bit if he doesn’t respond well

Joli12Avr15-08Then when get moving a tad more, at the trot

Joli12Avr15-09and lope. Two handed…

Joli12Avr15-11PM…and for the second time only, one handed (which is whole different ball game)

Joli12Avr15-12And never forgetting the back-up, which is a crucial element of Western riding

Joli12Avr15-20PMOnce our coach showed up we headed to the outdoor arena, and got to serious work




Joli12Avr15-18Shaping up at the lope was one of our projects, as well as working on straightness

Joli12Avr15-17Lope departures…

Joli12Avr15-31A little break. I love how his butt is starting to shape up 😉

Joli12Avr15-29And back to work. Half turn on the haunches, our coach emulating…

Joli12Avr15-30… a cow !

Joli12Avr15-23The 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 !)

Joli12Avr15-24Much more accepting here

Joli12Avr15-25YES ! (we’ve been struggling with this for over 2 months…)

Joli12Avr15-27PMMore suppling drills

Joli12Avr15-32and relaxation

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 :

Joli12Avr15-21He kinda dwarfes my horse, doesn’t he ?!

Once up there, he couldn’t help but messing around a bit with the newly found spin…

Joli12Avr15-28Backing up into a tight circle

Joli12Avr15-26then… using a slight counterbend in foward motion. It works !

Joli12Avr15-22After over an hour of work, Joli was just cooked

Joli24Jul-09How far we’ve come since that first day..

Stay tuned for more progress !


About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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3 Responses to No pain, no gain

  1. Laurent says:

    The light seem quite amazing on that last picture! It is pretty obvious on the pictures that you and your horse and making significant progresses (even If I have never been on a horse, it is quite obvious!)

    Always good to hear from you!

  2. MJWC1 says:

    Wonderful stuff Claire – excellent progress indeed!
    Terrific photos too, especially the first and last ones – horse and rider looking good!

  3. marla2008 says:

    Thanks guys for your heart warming comments ! Next session may 3rd, and hopefully other non horse related pictures before that !

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