Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canter cutie! Riley counter canters and starts walk-canter transitions

Devon here we come -- the canter is really shaping up. There is a huge hill on the barn property -- back in the day, big name eventers did conditioning up this hill. Riley is being worked on this hill too. My trainer's  trainer, Felicitas Von Neumann, was on the cover of  Dressage Today when she wrote about the value of hill work.

You'll notice a few corrective moments. Riley has a habit of throwing his haunches to the right, during transitions especially. It can sometimes be corrected with a light aid, but occasionally his hind end will swing out in what looks like an act of defiance. When that happens, the trainer's correction is a little more emphatic.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I'm working on the exact same things with my young horse. It was good to see the corrections she made. RIley looks good!

  2. Riley really does have a lovely, balanced canter.

    Such evasions are pretty typical as horses are as right/left handed as we are and try to evade according to what's more comfortable. It's not a matter of disobedience as much as comfort. He'll even up just fine.

    Hill work is super, as noted. What a great idea for you boy.

    On to Devon!! It's not that far away.

  3. My horse is at approximately the same stage, so I'm very interested. Thanks for posting. He is doing very well. I have a question that I'm hoping you can answer or post about - Riley is behind the bit a lot of the time, even when given rein to stretch. Why is this and is there a plan to get him on or in front of the vertical? Is it a stage?
    I really admire Felicitas Von Neumann's writing in Dressage Today. You are fortunate to have a trainer who is working with her.

  4. I don't know Carol -- so far we've been more concerned with his engine -- strength and engagement behind. He is pretty weak behind, esp. the left hind. He tends to curl more going to the left. Like Jean says, it's an evasion.

    When my trainer tells me she feels him lift through the shoulder (just a few moments per ride) I look and his poll is where it needs to be. He's out of balance most of the time, which i think at his stage isn't all that unusual is it?

    I am not an expert but somehow I don't think methods to "fix his head" are the right way to go...

  5. He looks awesome, as always! That trot to the right was my favorite part. He looked so balanced and forward and was really carrying himself for a few moments. I think you're right about the stages. The stronger he gets behind, the less he'll feel the need to curl up or swing his hips. My young horse has similar tricks up his sleeve -- and they get fewer and farther between the older and stronger he gets. Always love seeing videos of your big red horse, he is lovely!

  6. Sooo talented but... no helmet. Makes me queasy.

    As always, thanks for the posts and the videos. I'm really enjoying watching Riley's progress.

  7. Thanks for answering my question. Makes sense. I'm just curious because my 5 year old does the opposite - pokes his nose out too much. As he gets a little more balance and starts pushing from behind and connecting more it is starting to get better. Guess they all have their young horse habits. I agree with you in not focusing on it.
    I'm inexperienced at starting a horse so I wonder about these things! I didn't realize they could do this as an evasion of sorts. Anyway, Riley looks gorgeous and is making amazing progress. Can't wait to hear more about him.


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