Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Old Faithful

Sometimes, I just LOVE riding Angel. I've owned her the longest and I know exactly what I'm going to get. A frantic, manic, ADD-laced ride!

But Angel gives 100%, every time!

She is sentsitive and reactive and tries so hard to the right thing.

I'm never going to get a buck. I'm never going to get a rear.

The problem is, Angel is VERY smart! She has a brain between her ears and uses it, even if what she does is wrong, at least she's thinking...right? She anticipates what I'm going to ask. She is so sensitive she will react to the slightest of cues. I have a bad habit of over-cueing. Hmmm...

If ever I work her in my arena with the barrels on the pattern, she will expect to work the pattern. I learned that the hard way once while riding bareback.

I've been reading the Mugwump Chronicles(see link to the right) and it got me thinking "what if". What would happen if I turned her out to run the stink off (I love that phrase - borrowed from Mugwump), then got on and did a bunch of random maneuvers using only my seat and my legs?

I set my hand in the middle of the reins and rested my wrist on the saddle horn. She performed rollbacks, backed with just a tilt of my pelvis, pivoted on the front end and back end, circled, and whoa'd. At one point, she was reacting only to the tilt of my pelvis and the weight on a certain pocket.

I always know what I'm going to get... and I love it!


moosefied said...

She sounds like a lot of fun to ride. I haven't ridden many horses that were so sensitive to cues. Sounds as if you are teaching each other.

I have been wanting to ask this: what's a rollback? (No background in reining or much western riding in general.)

Karen V said...

A rollback – horse rolls back on her hocks and pivots 180 degrees to travel in the opposite direction. You’ve heard of “turn on the hind”?

To train, I’m riding forward at a walk. I sit and ask Angel to stop, then cross her right front leg in front of and across her left front leg until she is facing the opposite direction. When she’s done it, she’s just executed a hind end turn (or haunch turn)

For a rollback, Angel is traveling faster, say at a trot or lope. I’ll sit, say whoa, and bring her around. BUT…instead of crossing over herself in steps, she’s rock back onto her haunches and “lift” her front end around, and take off in the opposite direction.

From wikipedia: Rollback: the horse immediately, without hesitation, performs a 180-degree turn after halting from a sliding stop, and immediately goes forward again into a lope. The horse must turn on its hindquarters, bringing its hocks well under, and the motion should be continuous with no hesitation.