Monday 3 May 2021


 I've been having really good rides lately on Cisco.

Like really, really good rides. Cisco has been a VGB - Very Good Boy.

His VGB status was at risk when he did his llama stare into the scary end of the arena while I got ready to hop on.

Between his magical soundproof ear bonnet and the Equibands, my horse is finally going the way I've been wanting him to go for the last couple of years.

He's finally going straight! 

It turns out there are positive benefits to straightness. They include:

  • being able to easily bend around circles and turns in the correct direction because his shoulders are already underneath him and not needing to be corrected from whatever side they've flung out to.
  • being able to move laterally off my leg in either direction, on a straight line or on a turn, because his shoulders are already underneath him and not needing to be corrected from whatever side they've flung out to.
  • being able to move forward within the gait without the need to fling shoulders out to one side or another.
  • being able to do a frickin' walk/trot transition without flinging his shoulders to the right every.single.time.
Shocking, I know!

Ever since I started using the Equibands he's been going better and better, and I feel like I'm finally getting the responses from him that I expect to get, without drama, without babysitting, and without having to constantly correct and micromanage. He's just been simple and steady.

Tonight, after some leg yields at the trot that just got better and better, I decided to try them at a canter. Again, they got better and better - actually, a really good attempt on our stronger right lead, and a couple of good steps on the weaker left lead. I think I've tried this once before with him and didn't really get anything.

So I thought I'd try the shoulder-in at canter. I haven't done much shoulder-in on him yet (my groin injury last summer would not let me school any lateral work without me very much regretting it) but I've been working on it. 

I ride a pretty good shoulder-in to the right, and can only ride a really shitty shoulder-in to the left. I have to really work on my positioning when going left.

We tried the canter shoulder-in to the right first - and by the third time, he had a pretty good idea and was able to give me 5 or 6 steps before he tangled his legs up.

Unsurprisingly, to the left, nothing really happened. Meh, it was a stretch goal. We'll work on it. 

The VGB got lots of treats after his ride tonight.

We've still just been riding with only the abdominal Equiband. I lunged him this weekend with the butt band on for the first time, which didn't result in any airs above the ground. But I need to get the right tension figured out - the band kept riding up and ended up just under the top of his tail. It was snug but I probably need to go snugger. I need to play with it.

Because he's been such a VGB, most of our rides have been a short school, followed with some toodling around outside. I've been trying to ensure that I take advantage of the nice weather before the mosquitos arrive and drive us back inside. Although I think I saw one this weekend so that time might be coming soon!

Hopefully, my Pixio arrives back soon so that I can get some video. I'm really excited to see a difference!


  1. Such a good boy!!
    Glad you've been having such good rides

    1. So good! Even when he's stressed about a new neighbor and constantly calling out to whoever will listen and can only jog with a super tight neck at the beginning of the ride, 15 minutes later he's trying really hard to give me what I'm looking for.