We had an excellent night together at the barn. I put the natural rope hackamore on and we did some ground work in the indoor arena before I got on and rode him for about 20 minutes inside. He hasn't forgot anything, responded so well, an excellent whoa and back up with the rope hackamore.

I then put the bridle and bit on him and we went outdoors to practice lesson 3 patterns. I could not for the life of me remember how the pattern was!! But we did some great circles in every corner, even in the spooky corner. I was trying to not pull back on him when he yanked his head down and he softened nicely. Trying to steady my hands, that will take lots of practice. I was also trying to bring my legs back farther, but forgot a lot of times.

I put some elastics on my feet and around the stirrups, but then I forgot again to try any leg cues with them on. Before I got off I pulled my legs backward and forward and the feet stayed in the stirrups with the elastics on, so next time I will try to remember to use them.

We had one scary moment when I asked my husband to go inside and get me a drink of water. I told him I would be ok, we were just going to walk around. While walking along a playing cat leapt out from the long grass and spooked Cooper. He jumped sideways and I did a face plant in his neck. He stood still while I rearranged myslef back int he saddle.

I was going to go again today, but sore and have a headache so hope to head out and practice some more tomorrow, Monday, it's a holiday for us here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on August 2, 2011 at 12:04am

Had a great ride on Cooper today. We rode indoors as there was a lovely breeze going through it and the barn. Cooper was very good, there was another rider with her young green 4 year old Canadian there also. Forgot the camera, would have loved to got pics of them today.

Cooper was really motoring today, would not slow down his trot, but I still enjoyed the ride.

I was tense for a long time, legs and back were tight. I did notice one time when I let my breath out and relaxed that he relaxed also. I know that I am supposed breathe and relax, and I also forgot to do stretches before getting on. My sock kept rolling down under the prosthesis again, but no marks. I also felt like I was better with my hands, relaxing them more and not flailing them all over and yanking so much on Cooper's mouth.

Back to the barn tomorrow night after work for a make-up lesson and then again Thursday night for a regular lesson. Getting lots of riding in this week!!

I put the elastics on and again I forgot to do leg cues, so many other things to think of. The other horse was spooking at everything but Cooper was very good today.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on August 1, 2011 at 11:13am

Enjoy your holiday and enjoy your ride!

One thing I tried that worked on the Arab mare I ride is to make the noseband high enough (fleece tube or padding) so she does not see things as low down.  It worked for her going through puddles.  Maybe you could put some fleece on the noseband of your rope hackamore and see if it improves him when he sees those totally dangerous marauding cats!  Or a hood with blinkers/blinders or whatever they are called, just like the race horses use.  This does not need to be permament, just until you get your seat stronger so your horse pays more attention to you than those baby saber tooth tigers he thinks are out to get him.

Keep on riding!  Riding is the only sure cure for feeling like a beginner.  I know you can't ride as much as you want to, when I started I was limited just to the weekends too.  Every hour you are in the saddle is just that much more experience you have.  I know you have special challenges, be patient with yourself.

I think using rubber bands to attach your feet to your stirrups is a brilliant solution for your case (not for everyone!)  If anything happens the rubber bands break easily, freeing your feet.

Don't worry if no one else does something that works for you.  Other riders don't have your physical problems.

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