Monday, April 26, 2010

Another lesson and a 'Mini Endurance' ride

Shell Fire is coming along under saddle in leaps and bounds.

He has finally gotten the idea of riding into the contact so I took him for a lesson again with Scott McKenna on Saturday.
Scott agreed that he had improved, and now that he is moving up into the contact more, we need to work on getting the paces a little steadier and more 'horse like' instead of 'pony like'.
We also did some work on the canter, and I was very pleased that Shell Fire 'jumped' into it when asked. This has been a big hurdle as he normally likes to hoon faster in the trot before cantering.
So, things to work on:
  • Steadying the paces
  • More canter work
  • More lateral work (leg yielding etc)
I have now also booked in for a lesson with Jaime Melgarejo for next Thursday. Really looking forward to that and will be taking along my video camera to catch some footage of Jaime riding my boy.

On Sunday 25th April, I took Shell Fire along to a Mini Endurance ride that the Waikato Endurance club kindly put on. It cost $20 to go along their beautiful 8km track. You could ride the 8km track as many times as you liked.
This was Shell Fire's first time around a lot of horses and I had complete faith in him to behave and just act like 'a horse'. He didnt disappoint. He was very well behaved once his brain had taken in the many sights and sounds and was quite happy to stand by the float eating his hay and keeping an eye on things. I went and registered and then tacked up and mounted.

Shell Fire was very keen for the first couple of km. We had some good canters and trots and he is slowly learning to trust me in the saddle rather than on the ground in where I ask him to go. I only rode him around for one 8km loop. That was more than enough for a newly broken in and fairly unfit pony! My main goal of the day was just to see how he coped out in new surroundings with lots of horses and ponies cantering past etc. He really hasnt disappointed me and I cant wait to get him out and about next competition season!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Proof he is finally under saddle!

As mentioned before, I have been riding Shell Fire.

A few days ago I took him to Sharon Limmer's place for his first ride over a BIG farm.

He was fantastically behaved and I am now more confident of him going up and downhill.

Sharon very kindly took the photos of us.
Anyhow, enough chatter... PHOTOS!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Very overdue for an update....

Firstly, here are the results for the rest of the 09/10 showing season:

Clevedon A&P 15th November
Stallion Class - 2nd
Purebred Stallion - 1st
Champion Purebred Male

Auckland Arabian Spectacular 6th December
Purebred Stallion - 1st
Grand Champion Purebred Stallion
Purebred Quality Head - Top 5
Purebred Quality Action - Reserve Champion
Senior Showmanship - 1st

North Island All Breeds Show 9th & 10th January
Show Hack
Stallion Class - 1st
Stallion Class - 1st
Arabian Purebred
Stallion Class - 1st
Champion Purebred Stallion
Classic Action - 3rd
Best Paced - 2nd
Best Mannered - 1st (Australian Judge commented that it was the first time in her life of judging that she had ever placed a stallion in first place for best mannered! A very proud win for us!)

The showing season then got unexpectedly cut short due to myself getting injured. Whilst trimming one of the mares I tore two ligaments and dislocated my left knee when she got a fright and sat down on me.

Shell Fire's Education under saddle:
Just before the All Breeds, I sent Shell Fire away to Devon Oaks to finish backing him. Without the facilities at home it seemed safer to send him away 'just in case'. As it turns out I need not have worried about any 'antics' as 14 days later when I went to pick him up Andy commented on the fact that he was very easy and never really bucked or did anything untoward :-)
I rode him a total of 3 times at home before injuring my knee on the 20th January.

While Shell Fire was turned out to become a 'feral beast' I worked very hard to regain strength to my knee. The biggest motivator was to ride Shell Fire again. It took me until the 27th March before I was back riding him. It was just like I had never stopped. He remembered everything he had been taught. I then decided to book us in for a lesson at Scott McKenna's.

Lesson with Scott:
Lessons with Scott are always great. He has a great sense of humour and the same riding style as my own.
Things we have to work on are:
  1. Spiraling circles in and out to get Shell Fire to step under himself more and to actually start to bend correctly.
  2. Pushing him forward into the contact. He has such a light mouth that he shy's away from the bit a little. I have to work on keeping my hands even more steady and to NOT fiddle at all - hard task that one!
  3. A bit of in hand work to help bring the hind leg under more and to encourage better contact.
The Future:
Aiming now to get Shell Fire's education under saddle enough to be able to ride him at the Stallion Parade held end of August and also for some A&P show competition.
Looking to further improve the partnership with Rosewood Ishtar (very nervous mare) to hopefully show her in hand next season at a couple of shows near home.
To get some video and more photos AND to update the website!!