Another RWYM lesson hack today - good Ziggy - with pics

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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I am only managing to get out once a week at present, but we make it a good one by booking a lesson hack with my RI.

I posted last week about how I am just starting to "get it" about how to ride Ziggy well in trot. This week I'm posting in Training of the Horse because I have "got it" even more and Ziggy just responded sooo well!

The thing that has made the biggest difference (after not being hollow in my back, sitting on my sitbones, keeping my elbows for me, etc etc etc), well let's be accurate the thing that has made the biggest difference recently has been something Moet's owner posted about - "spanning" Ziggy with my thighbone, as if I am using it to keep his front and back half apart. It seems to help him to drop his neck and lift his back - during one long trot today I could really feel his back muscles under my thighs, quite a novel sensation for us.

I have to say he was trying really hard today. He didn't whizz much and I had his ears nearly all the time. Result: a lovely hack at walk and controlled, balanced trot - canters not possible as ground frozen - on a little angel pony.

Here he is in all his fuzzy gorgeousness!



Following me over to the gate, one ear back because he can hear my RI coming with Finn:



He is such a sweetie :inlove:
 

KarinUS

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He is so cute!
And how jealous I am of you and Julie. I may have to hang on an extra week in March when I go back home to head over to the UK for some RWYM stuff for a few days...
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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So your riding instructor brings a horse with them? That's really useful to have someone that hacks out with you.
He is really fluffy, bless him. Bet my cob wouldn't say no. :wink:
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I am really lucky, my RI hacks/schools one of my fellow livery's horses 2 or 3 times a week and I can go along with her. It suits us because hacking is mostly what we do, so it's great for me to learn while I'm out with all the distractions that happen around us, and it suits her because she gets paid twice for the hour!
 

newforest

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This would suit me if i could find someone that didn't mind being a foot soldier. What i do in the school at the moment isn't actually schooling because she was only started 6months ago. We won't want jumping lessons yet.

An extra setset on eyes out and about would be something different.
 

juliecwuk

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Wow I'm so chuffed to have helped! That visualisation has really really helped Moët and me :)

That's a really interesting concept having a lesson on a hack, can't imagine me doing that with my RI, she doesn't sound like a keen hacker, and I'm such a lazy lazy hacker she would shout at me all the time lol!

You and ziggy have come on amazingly well, I think we need to see some video clips soon :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Nooooo!!! No video!

I am still ashamed of my riding and Ziggy really hates to be photographed. It is very hard for me to get his normal affectionate inquisitive face when I have my iPhone out.
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Jane this is great. I have posted on Julie threads that I don't really understand or have heard of this method or way of teaching so I always read all the threads about it.

Glad that you feel you and Ziggy monster are moving forward in such a positive way.
 

Skib

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Could you explain the "spanning" with thigh bone please?
Is this a concept from front to back of the horse or side to side?

And if front of horse is separated from back end, are you supposed to be creating the separation, or are you remedying it -?
The idea of creating a separation is the opposite of what most trainers teach which is to have the circular flowing movement continuous through the rider and both ends of the horse.
On the other hand our RI often reminds one to ride both ends of the horse - particularly when steering round bends - making one conscious of the whole length of the horse - but that is not what would arise out hacking is it?
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I am also loving my stirrups. I do think they are worth it!

Skib, what happens with Ziggy is that he sticks his head in the air and hurries. This is the opposite of going the right way - he pulls himself along with his forehand. When I got him the muscle underneath his neck was hugely overdeveloped because of this habit. His back drops when this happens and I fall into a hole - there is nothing underneath me to ride. He does this sometimes because he is worried and sometimes because it helps him avoid going the right way, which he finds tiring because he isn't used to it.

Everything my RI offers me is to get me to ride him so that his head lowers and his back lifts. I know, for example, that I have to keep my seatbones in contact with his back, and stop my own back from hollowing. I imagine that the reins are around my lower back rather than in my hands, and that I have to maintain the contact.

The "spanning" image is that when he sticks his head up and drops his back, his withers and croup come closer together, like a suspension bridge collapsing on itself. By activating the muscle in my thigh it seems as if I encourage the towers of the bridge to remain upright, so that the roadway - his back - can form its suspended arch.

It's a metaphor. I don't really know what happens, but I know that it works for us!

If Sarah my RI were working with someone else she would use different metaphors. She tells me sometimes what she says to other clients, and they usually don't help me. The metaphor has to be right for your body and brain.

I hope this helps. I realise it sounds a bit like hocus pocus.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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Thanks Jane. Yes, I do understand now. Especialy as I too use the image of a sagging suspension bridge in one of Sarah Wyche's books to explain to Grand daughter.
 
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