It’s only now that I realize that I didn’t even mention the progress in my horsemanship in my blog.
I must be going bananas not even talking about that. Ok so here it goes…
I never really believed that I would be able to ride Fresco purely on legs because of his bracy nature and lack of consistency, but today I am proud to say that he goes left and right on the slightest pressure of my legs, same with going forward and backwards (only on my seat then).

What we are working on right now on the ground, is his draw to me. I need to really get it into his mind to come to me upon the slightest suggestion. Today he does come to me but I still feel that he has sticky feet and there is a brace in his mind holding him back a second or 2 before responding. In the circling game he doesn’t even come to me at all. The result of this is that my change of direction is not very well established, also the figure of 8 is sticky and not consistent. My goal next week is to get my draw better then my drive. I have a few strategies but the one I got from Jody was a new one for me and makes a lot of sense. Every single step he takes towards me, I should turn around and walk away. This should take all the pressure off and help him to understand that coming to me is the right answer. So I played with that yesterday and it seems to have a bit of an effect, we had a lot of fun in our liberty session yesterday!

Another goal is getting Fresco to do a right lead. He seems to have both physical and mental barriers to go into the right lead. Even on the ground he has it hard to pick up the right lead. That is unfortunately not something we will be able to fix in this course, we’ll have to play a lot with that at home.

Since I had a few downs these last weeks because certain things were not going as well as I would have liked, which I presume is something all students go through, I decided to make a list of things that I couldn’t do before I arrived here and I can do today. This was purely meant as a little pick me up to ensure I wouldn’t feel to pressured tomorrow during the tests.
While writing the list I was amazed, only now do I truly see how much I have learned. The only reason I had those downs was because I had certain expectations in the sense of certain tasks I would be able to do at the end of the course. What I didn’t think about was all the other stuff we have been learning that I didn’t even think of before and now are very well established.
Obviously every student had his own goals and therefore they might have focused on other tasks that I haven’t, so this is very individual.

So here is the list of the things I could think of right now, but not necessarily everything:

  • On the ground:
    1. Canter 2 laps on circling game calmly but with impulsion and effort
    2. Driving from zone 5 with 1 rein (behind his butt basically)
    3. Jumping logs rather than falling over them, even sometimes at a walk
    4. Picking up all 4 feet from one side and him actually keeping them up 
    5. Bridling from my knees
    6. Saddling with savvy
    7. Snappy downwards transitions on a circle
    8. Sideways to the end of the 45 foot line without moving my feet
    9. yo-yo to the end of the 45 foot line (going backwards away from me and coming back to me)
    10. Backup with only my energy or a little finger wiggle
    11. Sideways at Liberty both from zone 3 (next to him) and zone 1 (in front of him)
    12. At Liberty leading him by the tail including a turn


  • Riding:
    1. Ride without reins or sticks, purely on legs and seat
    2. Ride with 2 sticks
    3. Ride with savvy string around his neck
    4. Halt from walk, trot and canter purely on seat
    5. Upwards transitions on phase 1 (seat)
    6. Slow jog and canter
    7. Having a good seat including in posting (harmony and no more back pain)
    8. Circles without reins
    9. Clover leaf pattern at walk and trot
    10. Follow the rail in trot with relaxation
    11. Direct and indirect rein without using my reins
    12. Riding with contact with balance and rhythm
    13. Shoulder in
    14. Haunches in
    15. Half pass


  • Other stuff:
    1. Knowing all knots
    2. Throwing and uncoiling 45 foot line from both hands
    3. Quick draw with savvy string and stick
    4. Getting on a seat builder

So yes it has been fun, I have learned a lot and so has Fresco. So every time I get that feeling of frustration or feeling like a failure, I sure am going to make another list like this because it definitely puts things in perspective.

So my sweetest readers, I wish you all a great evening and tomorrow will be the ultimate test to know if I will be able to go to the instructor course or not. I need 70% so we will see how things go. If not, I can still get better after the course and film an audition to go anyways, so no stress.

Friday we will have the results, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to let you know something before I get home but I guess that keeps it all exiting!

Nighty night, sleep tight,


Wendy Joris
Wendy Joris

Al meer dan 30j gepassionneerd door paarden en mensen richtte Wendy Joris Mirror Horses VZW op in 2008 met als doel om zoveel mogelijk mensen en paarden hun leven te verbeteren zodat zij dan weer anderen hun leven positief kunnen beïnvloeden. Want zij gelooft in het "ripple" effect en dat iedereen zijn bijdrage levert in het verbeteren van de paardenwereld!

Laat hier van jou horen!

    3 replies to "My Horsemanship"

    • katlijn

      Good Luck from my part also. Thumbs up, fingers crossed.
      Hope you pass.

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