Well I must admit my mom is a wonder woman! You’d have thought of all the time I’ve worked with Cash that I’d have realized how such a simple change could really improve my ride!
As some of you may know I have issues with Cash and going forward. By this I mean he really lacks motivation to move in the arena. It can be a struggle to get him going from the halt to walk and the walk into the trot. If he gets bored it really gets to be a workout and fight to keep him moving.
*Enter mom* So she watched me work with Cash the other day and said “Hey why don’t you try with no contact. I’ll help you from the ground if he needs some encouragement” I happily agree since I’m rather frustrated by this issue thats been around since he was a wee little boy. Why not? Worse comes to worse it doesn’t work.
So I grip the reins at the buckle and ask him to go forward with a small squeeze from my leg. He doesn’t move so I give him a small tap and mom lifts the lunge whip to get him moving like we do when lunging him. He goes forward. I praise, Stop and repeat with a small bump but no pressure what so ever on the reins. He goes forward.
Now to try walk to trot. A few clucks, and a tap with my heels he doesn’t want to go so I say “Tr-ot” and mom lifts the lunge whip and he pops right up into the trot. I praise him with scratches and a bunch of good boys!
Soon with little effort he’s easily transitioning from halt to walk and walk to trot. The only time there was contact on the reins was to help guide him in turns. We didn’t try canter because the footing is a bit to sloppy and he gave a tremendously good effort. We even trotted through the dreaded puddles of doom that Cash just swears are trying to suck off his hooves!
I’m so proud of Cash! Today was a big step forward or him and a kinda light bulb moment from me. I should have thought of this on my own. His half-sister is super sensitive in the mouth and can’t be ridden with any contact on the reins. I honestly think it confuses the crap out of him and could possibly be a huge annoyance to him with contact on the reins. A lot of the time I might be giving him conflicting signals with contact so for now we will happily go around with no contact except to help guide the turns!
I love when something gets pointed out to me that I had completely overlooked. Some days it really does pay off to have someone watching from the ground!
Have you ever had anything pointed out to you that’s kind of a “Duh” moment?