11/11/2010

The glorious versitle paso fino

I was sent this link in my most recent copy of the Northwest Paso Fino Horse Association newsletter. It is a fun video to watch whether or not you love Paso Finos.

Here is what you will see:

1. Beautiful gait. This quick footed stallion has a lovely smooth gait.
2. Versitility: Showing the canter & jump, it illustrates how a Paso Fino can do more than ride around in a circle.
3. Agility. Sideways movments (halfpass, sidepass) are movements for a diagionally gaited horse, for a Paso Fino the difficulty level is much higher, this horse is supple and athletic.
3. Horsemanship. There are moments where this looks out of control, but the reality is, this quick footed guy is being guided by a great horseman who has challenged him to be his best.
4. Partnership. She drops her reins at the canter, spins around poles all the while her trusted steed is keeping her safe.
5. Trust. Both human to horse and horse to human.

And no, it is not played at a fast speed. Enjoy!

11/06/2010

Working both sides

I'm lucky. I'm ambidexterious. I almost do stuff as easily with my left hand as I can with my dominant right hand. I have been that way most of my life and probably chose being right handed because I live in a right handed world.

Being comfortable with both sides of my body has given me a great advantage in the horse world. I am always leading my horses on both sides, my riding is pretty balanced, and it is easy to make sure I am doing things from both sides.

Well today, when I was working with Phaedre, I was on her right side and asked her to lower her head. Guess what, she just stuck it in the air. HIGH in the air. When I did did my next level of reinforcement (touching the pole and moving the nose of her halter from side to side), she also didn't put her head down.

It is such a reminder to make sure we are doing things from both sides of our horses, not just leading and basic groundwork, but also brideling, saddling and even giving wormer. The more things our horses can do two sided, the more flexible mentally they become.