Tadjik - week 3
Tadjik feels like vacation in comparison to Zayin! He is so nice, happy and clear in his mind, it is just pure bliss to work with him! He is saying hello to everybody passing his stable, coming with ears forward when I call him for his daily play and is simply a happy little boy
I started to dress him up completely in the grooming corner now. I usually don’t do this with young horses before they didn’t accept the cinch and saddle completely. He prooved to be perfectly fine with everything, even taking the bridle like a champ. Actually I can’t keep him away from it as soon he hears the clinging of the bit. He is standing perfectly still for the whole grooming, stopped trying to empty the box with the brushes.
Follow a feel
During the last week I focused a lot on him taking a feel and following the feel of the rope during all the exercises. I find this important and useful for all horses. My goal is that the horse keeps the feel I have in my hand the same all the time, in all gaits. I measure this by the weight I feel and if I can hold the rope with an open hand without it slipping through. The horse shouldn’t keep the rope tight, but also not put the belly of the rope on the ground. I want the horse to feel for my hand and my hand to feel for the horses head.
Tadjik improved a lot on this point, I used the clover leaf pattern on the ground for this purpose. There he has to stay very attentive in order to know where to go and I can simply continue the pattern until I feel and see a difference in him. Most horses, once they get this concept, will start to stretch over the topline and move in a more balanced and supple manner.
Warming up over the poles. His coordination and balance are improving.
Clearly Tadjik thinks that this jump is ridiculously low!
And attack the blue barrels with enthusiasm!
He starts to caclulate the hight better.
This is the highest I will build up for him - about 95 cm. He just starts thinking at this hight.
Getting him used to the bit. Lateral flexion to the right.
Lateral flexion to the left. He starts to yield very nicely.
Some friendly game while walking - touching the corner of his mouth.
And a little spook when going back to the stable. This palette was not there before!
This is life experience. He will get brave with every single experience like this.
Playing with balance
Tadjik improved a lot on his cavaletti work and I had to find a way to make it more interesting for his clever brain. I started to ask him to canter just after and trot again just before. This challenges his balance and reactivity a lot! Of course I ask him to go past the cavalettis in case he is out of balance in order to avoid him stumbling over them. This little exercise can help horses to develop a lot of skills:
- Increase responsiveness and coordination in the transitions
- Increase balance on the circle
- Increase suppleness and coordination
And guess what, Tadjik got the little pattern in just 1 session and was able to it almost to perfection during the second session. For a young horse like him, it is pretty impressive that he manages to keep balance and coordination through the transitions and over the cavaletti like this.
Friday was jumping day and he keeps amazing me with his ability. His technique is improving in comparison to last week. He is jumping more calculated, less rushed and with better bascule. And he is very enthusiastic when jumping!
In the end of each session I started to introduce some simple exercises to get him used to the bit. I ask him lateral flexion and to walk on a circle while keeping a very light contact on both reins – of course I am not riding him. At first he was mouthing a lot, but once he understood how to give to it and that I wasn’t going to pull around on him, he kept his mouth very quiet. I do every day just 10 minutes of these exercises. My goal is that he understands different rein functions and that I can direct his feet with them.