Reinstalling Go.

Got cookies? Yes, I see you do.

The chief culprit to my recent difficulties seems to be back soreness, so Derby has had the last few days off.  I got on last night, and we had a much better ride.  We’re clawing our way back but he’s still a bit resistant, and my riding needs to improve.  However, I do have some hope that we won’t embarrass ourselves too badly this weekend.

While the soreness was causing the resistance, Christy observed that I also have problems with my “go” button.  As in it needs to be reinstalled.   Derby does not motor along at a consistent pace – he stalls out and slows down, and this is my fault.   Maintaining pace is a primary responsibility of the horse.   So I paid attention last night and issued corrections (in the form of a good old Pony Club kick) when Derby stalled out.   He got the picture quickly and did a much better job holding his pace, requiring fewer reminders from me.

This problem isn’t solved by any short stretch – I also need to get and keep him in front of my leg when we halt because he’s actually starting backing on me which, as Christy puts it, is a serious offense and doesn’t lead to anything good.  Last night he was doing this and I booted him forward.  He leapt into a canter, and we stayed there for a while (it’s important to not shut them down when they offer a forward response, even if it is more enthusiastic than what was requested.)  And after that, we seemed (for the moment at least) to be over the backing nonsense.

So, backing issues not withstanding, we’re heading back in the right direction.  5 more days.  Awesome.

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital marketing executive and strategist with a long track record of success in content marketing, social media, demand generation, event marketing, sales enablement, product management and business development.

5 Responses to Reinstalling Go.

  1. Hopefully the show jitters will hype up his ‘go’ a notch! I am looking forward to seeing you guys! You’ll be great!

  2. Sarah Skerik says:

    We’ll see, Liz! Once he got over his initial horror of seeing humans sitting under a little tent at Paddock last year, he went back to his pokey tendencies. Though, in retrospect (and looking at the pics/vid) I probably was riding with one foot on the brake – I was tipped forward with a closed hip angle, which does slow him down. And I know I revert to that position when I’m defensive. Wish I could blame the horse, but in reality, I know that it’s 99% me!

  3. (another episode in our eerily similar dressage story…)

    We’ve solved the mechanical issue of lack of forward (bad saddle fit) but still slip into the pokey-droms from time to time. I love the results that the pony club kick gets but I hate that I have to resort to it because that means my riding is slipping, and it is neither subtle nor beautiful. 😉

    Val went through a phase of backing up to evade my leg and I too got dire warnings about where that would lead. (up!) My issue was making sure not to be saying go with my leg but no with my hands.

    Good luck this weekend – you two will be great. Can’t wait to hear (and see – pictures please) all about it!!

  4. Net says:

    Something to ask yourself, and which no one else can answer: How much is the lack of go an emotional brake you’re putting on? Given your past, are you doing defensive things to stop the “go”? Because I guarantee you from all you’ve told us about Derby, if anything he’ll get BETTER once go is firmly established, and you’ll feel like you have even more control, even with an increase in power. 🙂 Heck, I have more control when GO is there on Tucson, even at shows with the nuttiness his tension causes him at times!

    • Sarah Skerik says:

      Annette, I am sure the emotional brakes were on. The new position finally felt decent (as in easy, and secure) tonight. I was definitely riding defensively. Hopefully we got past it tonight!

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