With Rosie, we are accomplishing this transition mainly with lots of ground training. The idea behind working her from the ground is to get her mind and body familiar with what I want from her without the complication of a rider. It also helps me to see what she looks like and how she's moving from the ground. At first we worked with a simple longe line and halter and she did very well, so we integrated a saddle into the mix. She will still revert back to the jog if I don’t keep after her a bit. We never work for very long, maybe twenty minutes at the most, with lots of walk breaks.
This weekend we graduated to a chambon and surcingle combination. She had a very mild mullen mouth bit and we fitted the chambon loosely for her first session with it to allow her to get the feel of it. She seemed to figure out what she needed to do very quickly. Rosie is a smart girl and seems to want to always do the right thing.
Rosie and I will continue to work on her ground training this week and we might possibly go for a mounted walk or two this weekend. Here are some pictures of her longeing in the chambon and surcingle:
If you're interested in learning more about the chambon here's a "link" to check out.
Quote for Today
Horses are as much athletes as gymnasts, ballet dancers, or ice skaters, and unless they learn how to understand and use their bodies by “ basic training,”they can’t be expected to perform well when the going gets rough.