About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend follow up and some canter work

This dog lives to go to the barn...I don't know what I did with his energy before?
 Loving on my boy after our workout...lol, he seems annoyed like "get offz my nekz"
Cliff came on Friday evening for a trim
Things are still looking good and he brought a young girl (assuming she's my age..young! ;)  trimmer learning to do this who was super friendly and great.  She is a certified practitioner-AANHCP and is now going through the school of "Cliff" 
 Laz, during his trim was more interested in his reflection in Cliff's car window 
He also bit at his car handle...um, no.....lol!

My Mom took some pictures of us hacking around
I swear between my dirty half furried horse, my giant muck boots and bubble head helmet..it's not pretty

 Doing carrot stretches helps him bend and become more supple
 A better stretch after 30 minutes of riding

 Toward the end of our ride, the 'scary' white dog that walks down the dirt road got his attention...and Mason's too
 I just pat at his withers, reassure him and wait.  If I let him stop and look, it avoids a blow up.  If I push him through it, he gets so flustered and rubber necked and BLOWS up.  
I'm sure this isn't proper training, but whatevs.
 Laz, my Mom (his Yiayia) and me

And Videos from the day:
Trot work with a baby 4 beat canter at the end....aw

...and us working on correct leads...fun but a FAIL going to the right....shocker.  
Baby steps. 
Cliff said having him W/T/C is fine, just don't have him canter for 15 minutes at a time. LOL, like I would! We maybe cantered for oh..3 minutes total, on and off.  As you know...I DON'T push it when it comes to his healing.  I may work on his canter 1-2 times a week, from the ground, in the beginning and see how he does for his correct lead.
I'm in no rush but he does have a fantastic canter!!! 
(when he doesn't throw his head down for a shoulder hump)
Laz has been cantering more on his own, so it seemed appropriate to bring it back into training.  I want him to work on it, while coming back down to calm instead of getting amp'ed up like he used to.  He's MUCH calmer now coming down from the canter....those leads we need to work on.
Any tips?!


  1. Firstly, huge congrats on even starting canter work with Laz...I read through your archives the other day...the scary ones where you didn't know if he would EVER be ride-able, or even make it. You guys have come so so so SO far!! That's so great!

    Is there a reason you're still riding bareback? Just personal preference or something else? Just curious. You have a lovely seat and ride better than I do with one:)

    I've found (well, I didn't find anything-I learned at the clinic) that getting our ever elusive right lead requires Miles to be fairly forward, and he needs to be connected to the outside rein. His body position has to be correct for us to have a shot at picking up that lead. His hips need to be to the right. Suppeling work (ugh, yes, turns on the forehand!), and getting him (more) reactive to my leg is helping.

    I'm actually watching Julie Goodnight right now, and she's talking about this very thing! She does haunches in on the long side of the arena, and right before the corner she cues for the lead.

    A lot of it was strength for Miles, too, working on that lead on the lunge. I don't know how much lunge work is ok for Laz to do, but it does help. Sorry, I sort of wrote a book-it's just we're working on this also and it helps me to write it all out too:)

  2. Thanks! :)
    I'm riding bareback b/c Im so hesitant to put a saddle (read: possible ill fitting saddle) on his back to cause any discomfort.
    I'm looking into treeless but that still costs $800-1000 and doesn't guarantee a better fit on his TB body, or possibly trying out my Crosby AP on him again. I actually need to pull out my Crosby and try it back on him which I haven't done since '09.
    Ugh..I dont get RFD! :( But you give a lot of good pointers...thanks!
    He should be OK for lunging, as I can free lunge him in our larger round pen. How would I ask for it on the ground other than praise when he does finally pick up right(correct) lead?

  3. Yeah, that would pretty much be it...praise when he gets it...keep him going for a lap or two (whatever you think he can handle), and mucho praise after he stops. If he doesn't get it right away, bring him back to a trot, but keep at him until he gets the lead. He's a smart boy, he'll get it. It really helps with building the correct muscles though. And IF he has a lot of trouble picking it up w/o you on his back, you know it's more physical than anything else at this point. Do you ever use a lunge line? They have longer ones that are like 35 feet, and at least allow you to bump their head towards you and encourage the correct lead that way.
    Good luck with the saddle issue-like I said, you have a GREAT seat, so it may not be an issue. When you find the right saddle for both of you though, it's heaven:)

  4. Yes, I do have a super long lunge and will use that..good idea! That way I can bring him down, etc. I'll have to gage to see if the start/stopping is too much for him, but hopefully my sweet boy picks it up easier without me on his back clammering around!

    **so another thought-when on his back, asking for the correct lead going to the right-I use outside leg and steady him with outside rein as well? On the line, from the ground, I give my canter cue and tip his nose to inside?

  5. What I did with my horse for teaching him leads was this:

    If your horse takes the wrong lead, simply reverse across the diagonal, so that he is on the correct lead. after cantering like that for a bit, either stop and ask for the canter again (reverse across diagonal if he takes the wrong lead) OR continue cantering and reverse across the diagonal again, so that you are counter cantering again. When I did this, Cruizer would have a moment of "OH this is much harder. lets change leads." And would then be more willing to take the correct one.

    Also, just for the cue, you can bring the horse's head bent to the outside, and ask then. This throws their balance off enough that they have to take the correct lead. Once they canter, release the head. However, Laz does seem pretty balanced and comfortable in counter cantering.. for horses that find it very easy to counter canter, this also means they find it very easy to take the wrong lead no matter how set up they are to NOT be able to do that.

    Both of those things worked with my horse. I hope you find a method that will work for Laz, he looks GREAT!

  6. Laz is looking good! You have a lovely seat.

    I learned these things from my QH who was particularly challenging to train in canter. I had to retrain both of us and now he is just about lead flawless and offers flying changes. I enjoy sharing my training tips, so here we go.

    Canter leads: Send your inside hip and foot forward and stabilize your weight on the outside seat bone. Take on the outside rein, even bringing his head a little to the outside at first and cue the canter with your outside leg. Taking on the outside rein helps him bring his outside hind under his body to pick up the correct lead. Your goal will be to keep his neck straight once he knows how to engage his outside hind.

    On the lunge, gradually decrease the circle in trot. Then gradually increase the circle and ask for the canter as he is moving away from you. If the line is pulling his nose and shoulder to the inside, he may pick up the outside lead, so timing and feel are very important. My horse can counter canter a surprisingly small circle if I do not time my ask well. Hope this helps!

  7. Thanks Ladies..all GREAT tips that I can envision!
    I went out yesterday and lunged him (long lunge) and asked for the canter going to the left. Perfect, lovely and balanced. I wanted to start with something I could praise. Going to the right-he again picked up incorrect lead. I brought him down. Asked again. Did that about 4 times, and he did a lovely buck/flying lead change (I was happy to be on the ground instead of attempting to ride through that, lol). He kept the correct lead for two laps and I had him walk, whoa and PRAISE!!!! We will work on this until he picks it up w/o the buck, on the ground.
    I may ride him through it in the round pen, which is larger than normal, to see if we can do it together, controlled.

  8. Hi Kristen! Thank you for the 'follow' on my blog. I just read your 'our story'...tears were so close to falling. Our family's first horse was a rescued, OTTB, Cheersto Glory. He is now semi-retired and living the good life where we board my Riva and my daughter's Hennessy. Love that guy :)
    I am struggling with teaching canter to my almost 4 yr old mare and reading the other bloggers tips for you has given me some pointers. She is lovely to canter on the lunge -
    but keeping her in canter under saddle is a struggle. Everyone says to just keep at it - it will come. Sooo hard to wait!

  9. Just wanted to add my two cents -- when I ask for the canter, I always first push the horse over with my inside leg and then immediately ask with my outside leg. This really, really helps! Also, think of lifting your inside hip slightly as you ask for the canter with your outside leg. Good luck! Laz is looking SO good!

  10. Just wanted to say congrats. Solo is the same way about looking at things -- if you let him look and process, he will be fine. If you try the old dogma of turning their head away and pushing them into it, nope, you lose.

  11. Kristin, I'm so glad to see you're riding Laz now! I've been away for so long and missed all this great stuff. Yay for both of you!

  12. I don't think there is anything wrong with letting a horse stop to look at something. It seems making them work around something scaring them would be asking for trouble.

    I was always taught to get leads by trotting on a smaller circle, leg yield out to the twenty meter circle and pick up the canter as soon as you get to the big circle. This has the horse in the outside rein and in the right bend. I took dressage lessons so it may be different from the way other people do it. You might try it though if he's able to do a leg yield. It only has to be a couple of steps. The outside leg, inside rein that your camera person was saying is totally backwards from the way I learned it.