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We Are Flying Solo

March 17, 2010

Yes, Yes It DID Work

Because I know you have been up all night DID it really stick?  Did the draw rein lesson actually teach Solo what I wanted him to do during his transitions?  Would it carry over to a draw-rein-less ride, where there is no possibility of backup should the head flinging return?

Because I know the DQ's were waiting eagerly for a report once I removed the evil, awful, horse-ruining, shortcut-producing, bad-rider-indicating draw reins of torture and incorrectness.  (Was that melodramatic enough for ya?)


Blogger editor, on the other hand is not. Working. By choosing to ignore my keystrokes half the time, which may result in my hurling my laptop while screaming curses at a program that does not give one whit for my mental anguish.

The same, happily, cannot be said of our ride, where, after doing some brief trot work (at a pace closely equivalent to that of a sleeping snail, for some reason), I asked, with a deep breath and a lot of hope, for a canter. The transition was a little bit sloppy, but Solo definitely was concentrating on trying to do it right and did not AT ANY TIME offer to fling his nose in the air to make things easier!

Just to make sure, I changed directions and tried again and practically giggled while praising him as he kept his nose down on the bit and stepped into a balanced canter!

Oh, happiness IS a successful horsey breakthrough moment!


  1. I actually wondered if he would recognize that the draw reins were off and he wouldn't have to work so hard. I am glad to hear that you have used the training tricks successfully!

  2. Congratulations on a job well done for both of you. Whew, I can finally breath.

  3. Sassy, you are not alone -- he definitely knows when I am not carrying the dressage whip (hence the snail pace, sheesh!) and I too worried if this would be the case in this instance too. But I think he really understood what was being asked of him and the simple application of pressure and then release with compliance made sense this time! Thanks both of you!

  4. Congratulations! I must say that I'm glad that we don't have any drama queens at my barn. I might be the worst, and I'm only dramatic about my horse.

  5. CONGRATS :)
    Way to figure out how to use a means to an end instead of as an end itself as most DQs may believe.

  6. Yay! Aren't you proud of yourself (and Solo of course)?? It's such a great feeling when you are able to provide a clear message to your horse - and it sticks!

  7. Hey, what's that sound? I believe it's the Sustainable Dressage lady shrieking in horror as she reads that the both of us have been using the medieval torture devices known as draw reins. Whatever. They do have a purpose when used correctly, in my humble opinion.
    Glad that Solo learned his lesson and is no longer a nose-flinger. Hooray!

  8. Oh, good Frizz, I thought I was the only one who heard that ghostly wail...