View Full Version : a day in the life of my amazing 3-for-the-price-of-1 horse :)
24th September 2009, 09:32 PM
Come for a run with us! Believe it or not this is a pretty typical ride for us although I MAY have been showing off for the camera slightly...
Kidnapped a photographer and WOW. Cannot stop looking at these photos!
I think his schooling has come on a bit, would really appreciate any constructive criticism. Last time I posted pics of him schooling the general consensus was that he was very on his forehand, is this still the case? (Scroll down to see them, I wanted to put the pics in chronological order.)
Cantered up to the top of the hill
Love this one for some reason
Dodging some VERY alarming bales
A breather on the top. Terry the dog does NOT approve of us stopping (incidentally, she is the best dog in the world, even if she does look like a bog brush!)
Vinny and his girlfriend Olive are so sweet together - while my feral friend and I are laughing at Terry
Strolling down the other side
A little jump
We reach the track and do a little bit more warming up before the fun begins... Don't suppose there are any other trotters who warm up in this way!
Any tips? I don't know much about schooling.
Coming into view..
Now the fun begins! (Note dog.)
Whee!! Expensive shoes seem to be paying off :)
Olive gamely tries to keep up..
Can you tell he LOVES cornering? He's the only horse I know who actually speeds up going round a corner :evilgrin:
'Coming off his legs' - this doesn't mean falling over, but ceasing to pace.
Several minutes later :evilgrin:
An unconventional approach to jumping...
But it seems to work! (This bush is a good 6' wide and around 3' high...)
And a final gallop
Can you see why he's quite fit?!
He is great :)
24th September 2009, 09:36 PM
Thats one speedy pony!!!!! Looks like a lovely place to hack!
24th September 2009, 09:37 PM
Wow go you! Vinny looks great .. He really goes well for you. Goshh the speed he must be going, hes a great horse x
beks the artist
24th September 2009, 09:37 PM
WOW!!!!! look at his lovely dressage trot then it turns into mega fast trot!!! He is fantastic! xx
24th September 2009, 09:42 PM
Wow! Look at Vinny go. I'm amazed that he can do proper schooling with a "normal" horses gait and the next minute zoom around pacing.lol! How on earth do you stay on when he's pacing? Is it very smooth to ride to? Looks incredibly fast and dangerus! You're very brave :) He's amazingly fit. Poor Olive trying to keep up! Bet your dog loves zooming about with them.
24th September 2009, 09:47 PM
Wow, Vinny (and you) are so multi-talented. He really is such a lovely boy :) Look at the way he's lifting his tummy and stretching his back in those schooling pictures.
24th September 2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks all :)
Ozzie - yes I am very lucky. Got a racetrack, dressage arena and jumping ring all rolled into one (and FREE)! Plus those hills are amazing for fittening up.
Pie - he is pretty quick you're right. His top speed pacing is around 30mph if not more. He wasn't far off top speed going round that corner...
BC - thanks, means a LOT!
Dressage is the retirement plan, but will need a hell of a lot of work still. His transitions are awful, the slightest distraction/excitement induces him to pace, and I don't have a clue about dressage.
He is getting the idea about working on the bit, I'm struggling with canter but we will get there :) Little and often worked really well getting him trotting on the bit, now he can do it for ages without much trouble. The problem is if you stress him out at all whilst schooling him he instantly paces...
Also, question for dressage people. Would that be a medium trot? I have heard that in medium and extended trot the legs aren't meant to move any faster than in normal trot, it's just that the strides must be longer. From what I remember he was tanking on quite quickly in those pics.
24th September 2009, 09:57 PM
Flipper - I am surprised he can do that too! I use the same track for schooling and race training. Once I up the gear he knows he has to pace. Canter is one thing I can't really do there. He isn't allowed to canter/gallop round there, otherwise we would have a lot more uninvited gallops than we already do. And when that happens I CANNOT pull him up for a quarter of a mile!
It's not that hard to stay on when he's pacing. I still haven't worked out the best method of riding a pacer though. I don't think there is a 'proper' way of doing it, you just do what is most comfortable for you and easiest for the horse. The tricky thing is keeping him in a pace going at that speed. If I don't lean into the corner with him he will gallop.
At slow and fast speeds it is smooth and comfy. It's the middle speeds that are a bit rough so I rise then, but when he speeds up I just kind of sit. Can't really describe it!
Anyway. Turns out you can polish a turd! Lol.
My Crazy Clan
24th September 2009, 10:14 PM
You can see how much dedication and hard work thats gone into him, well done.
24th September 2009, 10:22 PM
Wow eek I am SERIOUSLY impressed! What a trot! What a talented pair you are!
Poppy and Harmony
24th September 2009, 10:23 PM
wow what fantastic pictures, that looks like so much fun and Vinny is a super super horse!
His schooling looks good, still a little on the forehand but looks like hes working nicely, and pacing wow! amaxing
24th September 2009, 11:18 PM
Wow! Liz! what an amazing post! Definitely one of the most enjoyable posts I have seen. You must be soproud of Vinny -he looks a real champion! How did you get those photos-they are a real for his extraordinary talents! Love the trotting one-lovely outline! (Your friend on her horse look super too!)
25th September 2009, 12:13 AM
Apple - hehe I would love to enter him for some kind of award but don't know what there is really! Am trying to get him as versatile as possible in the hope that somebody will make an award for versatility :) (But also because I don't have the patience and drive to focus solidly on one discipline, I like to mix and match!)
Ness - my friend is a middle aged man, haha! Just because he has a ponytail doesn't mean anything! He looks identical to the dog, it's so funny, they won first prize for 'dog most like owner' at a local show. (Unfortunately she is not my dog but I am working on it.) Yes I am extremely proud of Vinny. I think we have just had our best summer ever. I love 14-year-old Vinny more than any of the other Vinnys I have had so far. He has got a lot more sensible lately and I can do so much more with him. He is very intelligent, as long as you don't stress him out.
To think that he was apparently the stupidest horse ever trained by one well-known trainer!!!
25th September 2009, 12:51 AM
Liz he looks FANTASTIC. I saw these on facebook and went "oooooohhh!!!" out loud. Echo everything BC says, he looks spot on now.
Love love love this topic!!
25th September 2009, 08:23 AM
wow!!! I'm so impressed by all the work you've put into his this summer! The difference in his flatwork is incredible and no he's definitely not on the forehand anymore. He looks loads stronger in his jumping as well, i don't know anything about pacing but the pics are pretty impressive!
Really well done on improving his so much! x
25th September 2009, 11:07 AM
He looks awesome! He's got a beatiful trot and I'm always impressed that he can switch from trotting to pacing and back again!
I saw two pacers on the road while I was driving the other day - they were going so fast!! I've never seen anyone doing in this far down south!!
25th September 2009, 11:33 AM
Thanks all :)
Loosey - the switching between trotting and pacing is still a bit random and sketchy! I can get him from a trot to a pace fairly easily (unless he's trotting flat out) but it's harder the other way round. But once his legs have unjumbled themselves and decided whether they want to trot or pace he goes quite well!
I wonder if one of the pacers you saw was my friend's old mare. Her dad sold the horse and sent her down to Cornwall - APPARENTLY to race along the beach, but she doesn't believe him and suspects she could be roadracing...
Cinders, it's funny because I haven't really been consciously working on his flatwork much at all. I gave up on outline stuff 2 months ago when I started focusing on racing because I could tell he was getting confused. Then after a while I started very gently reintroducing the idea of working in an outline in trot and suddenly something clicked! Then it was just a case of strengthening up those muscles which I did during slow laps of the track, and here we are.
25th September 2009, 12:45 PM
Shaz when he's pacing flat out it is kind of smooth but a bit rough at the same time if that makes sense. Smoother than trotting certainly. You can sit to it, you can also rise to it, but I prefer to get my weight off his back and lean forwards. I can balance him a bit more easily this way. When he leans into a corner I lean in with him. If I'm sitting back I don't think I can help him round corners so much, I feel left behind almost. Leaning forwards like that also puts me in a better position to push him forwards.
But to be truthful I basically make it up as I go along! Sometimes he feels a bit rougher and I rise. At slow speeds he can be incredibly smooth and I sit. Depends on what mood I'm in.
25th September 2009, 01:03 PM
If I remember correctly there was a bay and a skewbald, I think both the drivers were men - not sure if that ties up?!
25th September 2009, 01:14 PM
The horse my friend sold was a bay.. As is almost every other pacer in the country! Don't suppose we'll ever know.
25th September 2009, 02:40 PM
Ooh how comes i have only just seen this thread?? Wow i love hearing about your Vinny! He seems such a character! I love the dodging the bale and a little jump pics, just fabulous!!
25th September 2009, 06:34 PM
aww bless him, I love looking at your pics of hacking - you always seem to have so much fun!
25th September 2009, 09:00 PM
Vinny is so much like my Boy........its good to see another pacer out there having so much fun as they are definately under rated by people!!.Glad to see you have come on so well together and enjoying it as well...i Havent ridden in ages for 1 reason or another,but the stress thing with them must be to do with the breed as Harley starts pacing too as soon as a bit of excitement comes his way!!..Vinny is so fab,keep up the good work with him.
26th September 2009, 12:15 AM
Wow he looks AMAZING! those schooling trot pics he looks 100x better!
Vinny is such a star, you should be so proud!
26th September 2009, 12:25 AM
Tarleghan, I would love to hear more about your boy! Got any pics? I am an absolute sucker for trotters. As long as you give them a chance they are pretty much always FANTASTIC. Unfortunately a lot of people write them off from the offset because they pace. So what, it's fun!! And for those people who say pacing has to be eradicated before anything else can happen, well it just isn't true is it?
Evening Star, proud is an understatement :)
26th September 2009, 10:35 AM
he looks much more levelled out, and really fit! looks fabulous, i imagine haveing to pace will actually lift his front end becasue it looks like they have to really power through from behind so wouldnt be on the front end, so it could of done him some good encouraging it again
26th September 2009, 04:26 PM
Can't help with your questions, but he looks smashing! He's got quite a turn of speed!
Wish my dog could come riding, she'd either eat the horse or disappear into the distance, or even more likely both!
Where abouts do you ride cos those hills look strangly familiar?
26th September 2009, 04:55 PM
Wow - look at him go! Looks like you had a fab time together
27th September 2009, 04:04 PM
S&W, interesting point and I think you could be right. If he must drag himself along with his front legs it is a LOT easier doing so in trot. When he paces you can feel him pushing himself from behind.
I am very surprised at how well schooling and race training has worked together this summer. I NEVER thought they could complement each other but I now think they probably do. Schooling has made him more supple and given him some great muscles. His steering in races has become amazing, could this be why? A lot of pacers can be pretty ropey to steer: they pull like trains, they drift or hang to one side, they are slow to react.. Vinny however is incredibly nifty. In our 'reverse race' yesterday (going the opposite way round the track, which neither he nor any of the other horses in his race had ever done before) the other horses didn't really get the hang of racing right-handed and I know a few of the drivers were having trouble to control them. But Vinny just goes where you put him.
The race training has got him fit and sharp which is bound to help with schooling!
Cackleberry, I'm in Wales, near the Brecon Beacons :)
Puss in boots
27th September 2009, 04:13 PM
Looks like you had lots of fun, great pictures :D
27th September 2009, 09:42 PM
Great photos, looks like good fun :D
Although logically (at least in my head :evilgrin: ) I still reckon they should fall over when pacing!! I just don't see how they don't capsize :lol:
27th September 2009, 11:28 PM
Mungo, it is totally exhilirating :)
I am not quite sure myself why they don't capsize. It feels like it looks - ODD AND PRECARIOUS! But I have absolute confidence in Vinny. He has been round hundreds of tight, rough, slippery corners in his life and he has learned to look after himself. I just hold on tight and try not to interfere with him. Sometimes the horse knows best!
29th September 2009, 10:29 PM
eeek...Im sure you have seen pics of Harley on here before but probably a while ago now....i will try and find some for you and post them when i remember how to...lol.no great action shots like yours though i'm afraid.
30th September 2009, 11:59 AM
Liz Vinny is looking SUPER :)
I haven't seen all the pics as my internet connection is painfully slow, I am surprised it let me view the pics at all.
He really is such a ****** good horse you must be so proud. His trot looks fantastic, I totally agree with BC, he has come up in front, he's keeping his back end under him and working through his back, you should be so pleased with yourself too :) His jumping is fab and the fact you can go for a good blast/pace, then bring him back into a good outline just speaks volumes.
Huge well done to you and Vinny, I just can't wait to hear what you both get up to next :)
30th September 2009, 01:06 PM
Thank you Sam :)
Before anybody gets the wrong idea, I can't always have a good blast and then bring him back into an outline! It all depends on what mood he's in. But we are getting there :)
Yesterday he cantered in an outline for the first time and was making dressagey noises when he breathed. Why do they do that?
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