Aspen & Emily

Aspen & Naughtia

Sweat patterns from today's shimming

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (On Line, 60 mins) When I got to the barn today two of the neighbor girls, both 7, were out in the field trying to pet the horses. I invited them to come hang out with me so I could keep an eye on them and help them pet the horses in a safer manner. They learned how to do jumping jacks to protect their personal space and how to offer their hands or brushes to the horse's to sniff first to gain permission to touch them.

I have been noticing Aspen becoming a little more dominant/defensive about her space above/on her neck and back so I wanted to play some friendly game from the fence where I could be above her in a rider type position and be able to try and gain some relaxation and trust from her. We spent some time with her next to the fence while I rubbed her and let her rest then did some flagging exercises.

After that we played quickly with the umbrella and flag on the ground and then moved on to STM for a few minutes at the w/t/c. At that point the girls wanted to try so they took turns leading Aspen around the arena at the walk and trot while navigating various obstacles. They thought it was the coolest thing that Aspen would jog or stop exactly when they did. :) They also got a few trotting circles on my 12' line.

Aspen and I moved on to playing with jumping the barrels double down and then jumping toward me. We got 3 jumps to me in a row so I called it quits on that.

Played with a few F8's, transitions, and changes of direction OL before moving on to FS.

Quick note - Aspen is really starting to move nicer and nicer each time we play. Her neck is relaxing and her stride is more even in tempo and is lengthening.

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Freestyle, 15 mins) Had just a short ride today because Aspen was so good! Not the rushy, bracy, hoppy, pissy horse that I rode yesterday. We played a little with the flag while I was on her, even chased away a couple horses that opened the arena gate and joined us while we were riding! I am working hard to ride in more harmony with Aspen and move as she does and I think it helped. I watched one of my Mastery DVDs that talked about riding posture during Finesse and though I was riding Freestyle today I applied some of the posture concepts as best I could to help myself stay light on her back and allow her to move more freely. She really seemed to do well with this in combination with a new (not yet perfect) shim pattern and me lengthening my stirrups one hole. Very happy with our ride today. :)