Thursday, April 12, 2012

Videos of Pie, with Commentary

Now, in response to requests made by some of you, here are some videos of Pie - once you start a video, if you double-click on it, the video gets larger.  My video assistant (the long-suffering husband) is still learning the ins and outs of the camcorder, but I thought he did a pretty good job on his first try using it.  So, without further ado, here are the videos - I'll give you a video and then my thoughts on what it shows.

Pie walk:

Not too much to see in this very short clip - he's moving well and relaxed through his top line, and staying soft while he steps up under himself.  Heather and I aren't too worried at this point about where he's carrying his head - his natural tendency is low, but so long as this doesn't put him on the forehand it's just fine and keeps him comfortable at this stage of his training - he's very green.  Sometimes he also tends to over flex, but he's learning that he doesn't have to do this and it's starting to go away on its own.

Pie trot:

This is pretty nice for his stage of training, and I particularly like how he's stepping under himself with the inside hind on the turns.  I could be providing him with a bit more support with my hands, and my tendency to look down instead of upwards is showing - I'm working on this but it comes and goes.

Pie trot to walk transitions:

The second one is far better than the first - note how he braces in the first one - I could have prepared him a bit better as I did in the second one.  I like how he uses his hind end in the second trot/walk transition.

Pie short to long trot:

This is something we've been working on a lot - shortening and then lengthening and back again within the trot.  I'm aiming for the quality of the transitions between short and long, and I'm pretty pleased with how he looks here, but it would help him a lot if I weren't looking down, which tends to drive the energy down.

Pie canter:

For a green horse who hasn't done much cantering under saddle, this is pretty nice.  There are moments of softness - he's only just starting softening work at the canter, and the transitions are pretty decent for a green horse.  Note the moments of alternate softness and bracing (sometimes with open mouth).  I like the way he's moving and trying to offer softness.  This was only the third time or so I've cantered him under saddle - Heather did do some canter work with him but not that much - and it was the first time we'd cantered at the new barn.  He found the size of the arena a bit of a challenge - it's a little small in width for cantering at his stage of balance and carriage.  For a horse at his stage of training and physical development, I should be allowing him to use his head and neck more freely - he's not really ready for softening work at the canter - and just defining the "box" with my hands so he doesn't invert.

Pie canter to trot transition:

He's making a good effort here, but is hampered by my leaning forward and then giving the contact away as he transitions, which leads him to fall a bit on the forehand.

I'm very pleased with where we are at this point.  For a horse that was inverted and stiff moving, he's really come a long way already and I see the potential for lots more.

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