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One year later: Progress Pics

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  • One year later: Progress Pics


    Some of you may remember my draft cross gelding that I purchased this time last years--he was a 7 year old with limited handling and training.

    We have had ups and downs along the way, as he is stubborn and defiant and has an aggressive streak, but we have seemed to turn a corner and he has been coming along well.

    I started working more on disengaging the haunches and shoulders and moving him around on the ground and it has made a massive improvement (with regards to attitude and submission).

    The top two pictures were from May of last year. He has now been under saddle for about 7 months. His back has not come up too much, though his conformation is typical of the Percherons and naturally stands croup-high.

    I am still not riding him yet, but he is ridden twice a week currently. I work with him on the ground quite a bit and lunge on occasion as well, but what ground exercises have you found useful for your greenies?
    Last edited by Luna; Apr. 21, 2013, 10:27 PM. Reason: trying new link
    Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns

  • #2
    Honestly, the Buck Brannaman 7-Clinics DVDs have been really helpful for me in working with my mustang. I had him in regular dressage training, but the exercises we were doing on the longe and u/s weren't enough to really get into his body and unlock it, thus getting into his brain and getting him to be more of a partner.

    I do start off every ride with groundwork and I vary it, although I do always "disengage" the hind end and move the shoulders around. Some favorite in-hand exercises are:

    1) circle at A - come up quarterline and leg yield to rail; circle at C - come up quarterline and leg yield to rail; repeat

    2) work on SI or HI in-hand on the rail

    3) set up the "wheel of death" poles (4 poles on a 20-m circle) and longe over them, starting with one pole at a time, then circle (not over the pole but moving toward the next pole), then move to the next pole and go over it, then circle, etc.

    4) set up the "cloverleaf" poles (use WoD poles and bring them in so one end of each pole is touching in the middle of a circle, like spokes on a wheel) and circle over each pole, with a non-pole circle in between

    5) transitions

    6) backing and coming forward

    7) TOF / TOH

    My horse tends to be a bit stubborn, too, and doing these groundwork exercises before getting on has been super helpful. He gets a chance to warm-up his body without me up, and it gets both of us in the right mind space so that there's less "arguing" about who's right under saddle. It really helps unlock his body and makes our rides so much more enjoyable!
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


    • #3
      Why aren't you riding him?


      • Original Poster

        I gained a lot of weight after a bizarre accident and am not feeling comfortable with the idea of extra weight on a back that is less than ideal, conformationally speaking. I have a lot of 'me' work to do, which is partly why I do so much groundwork with him in the meantime.
        Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns


        • Original Poster

          I fixed the picture (phew) and just wanted to say thank you Pocket Pony, there are some precious nuggets in your post!
          Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns


          • #6
            He looks great! If you are a good rider, your weight shouldn't be a problem. He looks pretty darn study to me - get on him!


            • Original Poster

              Thank you! I rode him at my current weight once and he didn't die or come up lame, but I am having such a terrible mental block about it :s I keep telling myself that if I just get on and walk and slowly increase it, that it will be fine--but then I get the feeling of guilt and shrink away. I'm just going to keep doing my Dance, Dance Revolution workout and get my arse in gear!
              Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns


              • #8
                Don't you think that riding will help you get in shape? I know it's hard to get through the mental blocks (I've had them too) but sometimes you just have to get-on-the-horse-and-ride. Just take some long hacks, it will be good for both of you on many levels.


                • #9
                  Riding will definitely help you get in shape--I find that when I'm riding regularly, it kick starts my other exercising routines, and I want to work out!

                  He is coming along beautifully!
                  RIP my beautiful Lola, ????–August 29, 2014


                  • Original Poster

                    I heart you both. My trainer had the same argument. She offered me her retired GP horse to ride and I said..."Are you kidding?? Have you seen my ass?"...her response: "Well if you ride, your ass would be smaller."...

                    Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns


                    • #11
                      Not only will your ass get smaller, you'll be happier, your horse will be healtheir. And neither one of you are getting any younger.
                      (I have no idea how old you are but that motivates me!)

                      Share pictures of your first ride and the big smile on your face .


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Luna View Post
                        I heart you both. My trainer had the same argument. She offered me her retired GP horse to ride and I said..."Are you kidding?? Have you seen my ass?"...her response: "Well if you ride, your ass would be smaller."...

                        I love your trainer!

                        I agree that getting out there and riding will help you! Sorry I can't see the photos - issues w/ pinterest here. But congrats on having good progress, and good luck getting yourself up there!
                        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                        • #13
                          Ride! If he is a draft cross...he is big boned and will do just fine with you walking and the TWO of you bonding It's not like you are going to get on and start sitting extended trots or asking for huge canter lengthenings. Easy does it...and take every day as it comes. I can almost promise you that you both will have smiles on your faces...and getting in the saddle will HELP with the weight loss. I'm 195lbs and I have a clyde/tb cross. He is big boned and does fine with me. I'm sure your guy will too. I've dropped 15lbs in the last 3 months just from riding. Get in the saddle
                          Green Cove Springs, FL