mandag 10. januar 2011

A new week

Here in Hannover spring has suddenly come, with rising temperatures and the snow and ice all gone. It's probably going to get colder before the "real" spring sets in, but at least we can enjoy a few days of sun and relative warmth.

Some pictures from my Christmas holiday at home, where I'm guessing it's still pretty much winter...
The first pictures are from my familys cabin in a low mountain region of Norway, the last from a deer couple that are partially living in our garden in the city(!).

I spent most of the weekend helping out in the stable.
Yesterday I had a plan from the beginning of the training with Fonti (which istn't always the case...) and it really makes a difference. It always amazes me how much my own mental attitude towards the training can change the whole training session.

Fonti was bending much better around my left leg, and I also felt that I managed to sit better; I've developed a tendency to fall forward with my upper body, especially in the canter, but yesterday I kept my back pretty straight and my shoulders back. I also walk a bit tilted forward, so I'm trying to correct that as well (thanks Siri, I think I read that in one of your blogposts - about how you walk can be connected to how you sit on a horse).

At the same time Fonti sometimes became a bit fixed in the neck. When he can stretch his neck and relaxes in the warm-up phase, he usually swings through the whole body, but when I pick him up to start the real work, he sometimes stiffens in his body. I think this is partly because I tend to squeeze my thighs in the trot to sit still - which makes him speed up and makes it even harder to sit on him properly. So I often alternate between sitting and posting trot, to make him swing more through the back.
I also sometimes pull my hands back when he speeds up (if he could choose I think he would gallop all day long!) istead of controlling him with my seat, and I'm guessing that's the other reason he stiffens his neck/braces his back.

We also went for a little walk outside on both Saturday and Sunday, since the ice is finally gone. The stable is located in the middle of the city, so there's not much room for hacks, but we have some space around the stable/arena with riding paths and outdoor arenas (4 of them! The stable complex was built for the German cavalry, and I guess they were outdoor kind of people).
Fonti finds it very exiting to be outside, but if I lead him instead of riding him he follows me like a dog. Suddenly nothing scares him, even the tram passing close by doesn't concern him.
It's a standing joke in the stable that when Fonti and I am going to compete someday, bereiter J is going to have to run in front of Fonti so that we'll get round the arena without any spooking and/or unplanned stops...Good luck in the extended canter J!

6 kommentarer:

  1. Ah the connection to your position while you walk has so much to do with your position as you ride. It is possible to sit fairly ok on a horse and walk like a bag of potatoes (not that it walks but yea, you get the point ;) , but if you walk, stand and sit correctly, you will strengthen your whole posture. We want our horses to use their body correctly so why don't we?

    Can't wait to see more pictures of Fonti, he sounds wonderful :)

  2. So true.
    I also sit like a bag of potatoes... But it's so much work to sit straight;)

    I tried to upload a video clip to YouTube from the stable Christmas show we had in December, but it was 2,2 GB and the limit is 2 GB...I'll try to make the clip smaller somehow and then you can se him in action:)

  3. I sit here and chuckle to myself, because I struggle with the same problems...
    Mission 1: straighten up while walking!

  4. Sitting straight is something I have to remind myself to do once in a while. And if I don't remind myself my trainer will. I've also been guilty of gripping to tight with my legs on occasion. It's hard to just relax and go with the horse.

    Fonti sounds like a real character. Your stable seems to be situated in a good spot for some nice walks. As for Germans loving the grandparents came over from Germany and they loved to camp and be outdoors as much as possible, so you might be on to something there.

  5. Good to hear that I'm not the only one struggling!;)

  6. GHM: Funny that you have experience with outdoorsy Germans too.

    (Although sometimes I think the Norwegians (or maybe all people who are used to long, cold, dark winters?) are even more extreme. Like at Easter, up in the mountains: "I think I see a hint of sun behind the clouds! Let's eat outside in the snow today, it's only a few degrees below freezing...")