Early Days

Helmets and such

Quick public service announcement: International Helmet Awareness Day is TOMORROW July 12th!
Its a great day to buy a new helmet because there will be lots of sales – just check this website for participating stores. 

Such a handsome face :]

At our practice ride on Wednesday, Hemie was super distracted. I knew I needed to keep his focus on me in order for us to have a productive ride, so I really changed up our routine by having TONS of turns, circles, transitions, leg yields, etc. It looked something like this:

I’m noticing that sometimes turning makes us putter out and Hemie gets a little shuffle-y with his legs. Inspired by a recent post at Not-So-Speedy Dressage, I’m going to focus on outside shoulder and maybe try the chute exercise. I think that exercise might help with our faux spook/left rein connection issue too.
Thursday’s lesson went from one extreme to another. We had excellent work stretching and connecting, especially with the left rein. Laurie gave me another tool to use for faux spooking – to move his shoulders right while maintaining left rein connection and left (counter) bending. Its like patting my head and rubbing my belly. Hard to do, but effective. 
But Hemie also had some mega tantrums during the lesson (rearing, running backwards, grabbing the right rein and yanking downwards and left). It’s been a while since we’ve had those kinds of outbursts so of course its upsetting.  But on the other hand we had plenty of good work too. So I’ve got mixed feelings from that ride. What I can say is that my seat has certainly improved, and that I didn’t get super panicky about it. We just move forward as soon as possible.
I’ve noticed that Hemie has gotten more mouthy over the last few weeks – picking up grooming stuff, chewing on the cross ties, yawning, nipping. Not sure if that is a sign of anything? Thoughts?

Cross ties – yum.
Pardon the crazy mane – we’re working on it!

5 comments on “Helmets and such

  1. Hmm. Maybe his tantrums have something to do with him chewing? Not sure but at least you had some good parts.

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  2. It could be anything from a form of stressing to entertaining himself to a minor physical issue. It might be just that he is working harder and could possibly be a little body sore or is anticipating the ride. It's also possible that I am paranoid due to working at the track and usually finding a change in behaviir to be the first sign of an issue with all of the extremely sensitive TBs, so don't let me freak you out. I love the dressage diagram :)

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  3. Def ordered a new helmet! :) Can't pass up the deals!

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  4. Thanks for the shout out. :0)

    Sydney has also gotten very mouthy over the past year. Judy and I have talked about this very thing. For so long, he didn't have much of a personality because he didn't feel heard or understood (and I don't mean to sound all granola and tie dye, but it's true!). The more I manage our rides and keep him “safe,” the more his goofy side is starting to show. He now loves to lip my neck, arms, zippers, fence, hat, cross ties, Speedy, the reins, or whatever else crosses his path. It's as though he has finally woken up to the world and is allowing himself to experience things.

    Not sure why Hemie would become more mouthy, but think about what you're doing with him lately. He might be frustrated, happier, etc. Or, one unchecked nibble simply led to the next one and he's developed a new habit. Hard to say. :0)

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