13.3.13

Horsey update!

All of our horses are doing fine, Nelli's leg has improved, so that she is now back in some light work (she is semi-retired e.g. working 3-4 days a week) and is being a natural matriarchal mare, keeping all the boys in order! Basse's nose has healed up fully now, and you can barely tell the difference! He is very happy with his two riders who are leasing him, and is being a great schoolmaster for them. 

Basse and his rider, Ritu ♡
Rama has been working really well for me during the last week, ever since our lesson with Karita, I've been able to ride him much more efficiently (beforehand, it took me the entire duration of the ride to straighten him and engage his hind legs, whereas now we achieve this in less than fifteen!) and for the last couple of days we have worked on straightness in the canter and his flying changes. Getting Rama straight through his body in the canter helps him produce much nicer, more expressive and correct flying changes. However, because Rama is so sensitive to my seat, getting him to straighten and to not change is something that I really have to work on! 

For this, I have been using the same exercise that I use with Vallu, something that Ville Vaurio taught me early on which has been very useful. In a normal working canter, ride off the track, about 10-15 meters in along the long sides, and straighten the horse by using your seat, legs and hands. Since you are away from the wall, the horse will have to listen to your seat and legs to know where he is going, instead of just using the wall. By getting the horse to listen to your aids better, you have most likely already improved the canter's straightness massively. Then, by using mirrors, correct the rest of the crookedness so that you are left with a sensitive and straight horse! With Rama, I have had to learn to ensure that my hips stay 100% straight, and that I don't lean to one side even a little bit, since this will unbalance him and he will do a flying change immediately!

Today Rama got a break from the training, and we went for our second hack out in the woods, and he behaved impeccably well!

Rama out in the woods today!
             
Vallu has been enjoying his holiday, of which there is less than 3 weeks left and has been busy growing an enormous hay belly! I am getting more excited and nervous as the days go by, mainly because I so badly wish that the vet will give him the all clear and we can get to work trying to get him to slim down for the summer. Vallu felt great today, he was the happiest that he has been in a long time, and all he wanted to do was to trot and piaffe instead of walking like he should be doing! 


I've also been busy with my Method Putkisto courses, the Pilates and the Deep Stretching. Today I was lucky enough to have an Equfit lesson instead of my usual Pilates class. Sanna, who is a qualified Method Putkisto trainer, has also created her own version of exercises for riders, which is called Equfit. I have been to these lessons before, but the last time was well over a year ago, and I had to quit because  I had to allocate more time for my riding and college. I enjoyed today's lesson so much that I'm hoping to start going to it once a week, as well as going to MP Pilates and MP Deep Stretching. I'm also starting the Method Putkisto 30 days challenge soon, using the MP Stretch Yourself Slim in 30 Days book.

"Method Putkisko is a revolutionary form of exercise that complements pilates, the Alexander technique and yoga. Highlighting the consequences of tightness and shortness in your muscles, it shows you how, by elongating these muscles through deep stretching, you can improve your physique and posture, as well as creating an overall feeling of well-being. This 30-day plan is adaptable for different body shapes, and takes you step-by-step through the method, from different types of stretching and breathing, to the clearly illustrated and photographed exercises themselves. This programme promises visible results - a lifted, supple and supported body in a month!"

Ready to learn!


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