Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Horsey Talk #2

I think we've accumulated a bunch more information since the last Horsey Talk installment back in November; and now we needs some 'splainin'. I'm by no means extensively experienced so I only share from my experience.

Posting Diagonals: the posting (or rising) trot is a 2-beat gait that horses do where diagonal legs move together: front right and back left move forward and then switch. The posting diagonal is essentially when the rider is rising when the outside front leg reaches forward. Outside leg? The leg closest to the wall or outside of a circle. This rising gives the horse the chance to bring his back leg forward without the riding on his back to aid his balance. In the instance where he's going straight ahead, rider gets to pick. Check out this video:

Canter: this is a natural 3-beat gait that is faster than the trot but slower than the gallop. The three beats just mean that there are 3 footfalls per stride. In Western riding, a similar gait is called lope. The rider sits during the canter.

Canter leg aids: I checked, and there are several ways to initiate canter but what I've been doing is just the standard leg aids where I pull my outside leg back a bit and then squeeze both together.

Half halts: an application of the restraining aids, asking the horse to "almost halt" and bring its hindquarters under itself in the process, then immediately applying the driving aids to maintain the gait. We've been using it mostly to slow the horse down.

Cavaletti jump: this is a basic training jump that where the ends are formed in an X and at one of the joints is where the bar is attached. The jump is then variable for 3 different heights by turning it.

2-point position: the rider supports his or her body using leg and stirrup, keeping the heels down, and lifting the buttocks out of the saddle while keeping the head and shoulders up. It is called 2-point because there are two point of contact with the saddle. It is typically used when jumping.

Forage: this is the term used for the horse's primary portion of the diet: the vegetation that they graze upon. This can be grass, hay, haylage, silage, alfalfa etc. It is a low quality foodstuff with high fibre.

Looks like I picked some tricky ones this time! I had some trouble explaining some of those terms. Hopefully I did them justice. If I didn't, let me know!