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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

     Well what an amazing week.  My first Valentine’s Date EVER!  So I am going to take a moment in this week’s blog to tell you what a great time I had.  Billy arrived early! He was really excited to head into Seattle; but he should know a teenage girl is never ready 45 minutes early!  But the beautiful roses he brought for me and the chocolate roses for grandma were lovely. We went for chowder at Pike’s Place Market and a Ferris wheel ride over the water.  I bought a bag of his favorite taffies and then unwrapped them all, put in little sayings about things I like about him and then wrapped them back up.  I think girls love the ‘homemade’ gifts the best. 

.  Jeremy is off giving a clinic in California with my friend Genay Vaughn.  Hope you guys are having fun, but I miss you!  I can’t wait to see her in March for the Jan Ebehling Clinic at Starr Vaughn Industries place in Elk Grove.   Brandi cut off her hair to donate.  I am so proud of her.   It is going to be a busy few weeks.  I have lessons with Jeremy all week then my dad flies in for a visit.  We are going snowboarding.  I promise I will be safe and stay off the blacks.  J

     I learned a lot about training tips this week from Shauntel.  First, you don’t have to do the extensions in Canter always on the long side.  Your horse will always expect them on the longside and may start to incorporate them in himself on every long side canter!  Like anything else, mix it up and do some on the short side.  Never let things be consistent that way or they memorize and start to anticipate.  You want them on your aides, not trying to outguess you.

     One way to check this connection is in the transitions.  Do a bunch of canter-walk transitions.  Then make as if to do one, by shortening the stride go into more collection but do not do the transition—go directly back to canter.  Make sure your horse does.  If not the test worked and you learned he wasn’t on the aid, just anticipating the transition. 

     We worked a bit on Tempes and Sjapoer has great flying changes.  Last year at FOC and NAJYRC he got a lot of 8’s on these and racked up points.  We have been working on making them even better by working to keep him straight.  When you move from changes to tempes there is a tendency to want to bend the head toward the lead.  Keep his head and your body straight.  It improves the quality of the change.  Finally, with the tempes, Sjapoer likes to do them a lot.  He throws in extras all the time.  When he gets strong and isn’t listening I relax on that diagonal and don’t push it if it is wrong.  Circle back to the corner and do it correct the next time.  Give yourself the long side to regain his concentration.  (Obviously this is for training not in a test!)

     Well it was a memorable week; I hope everyone shares their valentine’s stories.  Next week is a crazy busy week.  I got a new 180 degree mounted camera for Christmas and I put it to some use taping my lessons. It’s a great learning opportunity to tape one of your daily lessons and see where you are at in your training.

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