Saturday, February 15, 2014

Canter Serpentines

 Since the heavy rain last week, the sun has shone for a week straight, quickly drying up both arenas so I could have my lesson. Meghan was feeding the horses their lunch when I arrived, so I helped, then grabbed Reno and hooked him in the crossties. He was dirty, with mud on his face and hooves. To save time, Meghan helped me brush him off, dusting off his face and coronets while I curried and brushed his body. Lots of loose winter hair came out as I curried, meaning that spring must be on its way.

After tacking him, I headed of the main arena, which was finally dry enough to use. Someone was practicing a dressage test in the dressage half of the arena, so I walked Reno to the far side and began warming up with some walk-halt transitions. Then I did walk-trot transitions, walking along the shorter sides and trotting the long sides.

 Once Reno was warmed up enough, I began trotting the whole perimeter of our half of the arena. However, he began to get eager and energetic, as he often does when we begin trotting or canter, and began trotting way too fast. Meghan suggested that I put Reno on a circle every time he canters unexpectedly or trots to quickly, rather than pulling the reins and saying "whoa." I did as Meghan instructed, circling as soon as he began to canter or trot as if he wanted to be in a Standardbred race(not quite that fast, but you get the idea).

 After the other rider left the arena, once Reno was going a bit slower, I rode into the dressage side of the arena to work on some serpentines. Meghan set up two sets of parallel poles, one at each point where to circles met. These poles acted as a guide, marking the places where I need to turn and change my diagonal. I did two serpetines at the trot without stopping, then let Reno rest. Then, Meghan added another exciting element: I would canter the middle circle. I did two serpetines like that, then loosened the reins and rode around the entire arena at the walk.

 Then I walked around the property, on the path that looped around the barn and several large paddocks. Afterward, I untacked and groomed Reno. When picking his hooves, I found a fairly good-sized pebble in his left front, prying it out. Once he was all taken care of, I led him to his little corral, which is connected to a paddock, a let him rest.

 It was a great lesson. So far, we are planning for more lessons every Saturday, but that may change since show season is coming up. We'll have to be a bit flexible.


  1. Sounds like you are progressing quickly, good job!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Meghan said I'm a fast learner.

  2. Serpentines already?! You are moving along quick!

    1. Yeah, thanks. Maghan wanted to teach me them early on so I don't get confused if I need to do them later, such as in a dressage test.


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