In Hand with Manolo Mendez

20 08 2010

I had the opportunity to have a lesson with an amazing dressage trainer, Manolo Mendez. Manolo is an artist with horses. That’s really what it comes down to. Artistry, dexterity, and unimaginable skill. Picasso was a bit back sore last week, so I opted for an in hand lesson. The lesson was amazing. Pica and Manolo hit it off and liked each other very much. Have a looksey…

If you ever have the chance to work with him, do not hesitate, do not equivocate…. Just do it.





Ride and shine!

15 04 2010

This week, we are up to 25 minutes of walk and 4 minutes of trot. The last couple weeks have been busy for me as I prepare for my final business plan presentations and GRADUATION!!!!! But back to Picasso….

I have yet to have consistent training with Picasso, nor a consistent trainer. But I cliniced with a great trainer last year named Manolo Mendez. Manolo is a Spaniard living in Australia! He used to be the head rider for the Royal School of Equestrian Art. He is in California 2-3 times a year, but I needed help today so I asked my friend Pam, a long time Manolo student, to come down and give Pica and I some pointers. She took pics too!

We started out with trying to get Picasso to stretch down and out in the walk. As noted above, he has a tendency to want to curl. Need him to stick his nose more out.

Much better, nice reach too! We walked around working on straightness. Pam caught my tendency to use my left rein therefore causing Pica to brace. We have this little game and have trained each other well. But now I know his game…. I’m wise to his antics……

On to trot! a whole 4 minutes! 2 minutes each direction. He did pretty well!

Nice and long and low. He has good reach under, but he is on the forehand. I asked Pam about that… Basically, he’s a stone cold greenie. First we gotta get his muscle structure correct, good back, flip that neck muscle over. Once he’s got a good long and low frame, we can add some more contact and the lift in the withers will follow.

Pica is a trick to ride. He has a habit of curling…. he is very good at evading…. little monster. So as seen above, he will curl. I then drive him forward to get his nose back out again. We also talked about Pica’s habit of positioning himself like a giraffe. Pam is pretty sure it’s habit for him. So there is hope!!!!

Go Picasso! I am so thrilled to be riding again and he seems to enjoy it too. 😉