So, yeah, I know I said I'd update on Friday, but I just. couldn't. wait. What a rockstar my horse is! OH! And I am officially signed up for the Jeff Cook clinic, YIKES! I am partially terrified, but really excited. Plan to really continue to work on our canter work, and get things REALLY solid so we can deliver.
Sooo, Monday was a jump day. Used the 3 ring again, and I have to confess I had more love for it. Warmed up with the snaffle rein, primarily. Tied my stirrups a little tighter this time than I had on Friday, and I FELT it! My leg was tight as a tick! It was nice;) Kept my reins really soft and quiet, and really used my leg to ride him forward. Made sure I wasn't chasing him, though, just rode him nice and forward. Had my cav oxer stack jump set up, and just the 2 stride of tall crossrails again. Set a smaller warm up crossrail off to the side so I didn't have to get off to reset jumps. With my stirrups tied, I have to watch my canter transition. I have a habit of REALLY putting my outside leg back for the canter, but since both my legs only had the same amount of slack, I couldn't really do that. So, I concentrated on shifting my weight more for the transition. It worked well; he missed the lead a handfull of times, but nothing bad. Trotted into the small crossrail, and it just never felt good. I am NOT good at trotting jumps. I never have been. I have GOT to get better at it. Ugh. I'll figure it out one of these days. Could REALLY feel when my leg WOULD have slid back, but it couldn't, yay! Actually trotted into the 2 stride, and cantered out in a 3. That was actually pretty good. I trot a bigger jump better than a smaller one, because Tiki puts in more effort. Tried to really feel my leg close at the base of the jump, and actually LAND in my 2-point, because that is another weakness of mine. Cantered into the 3' cav stack. Nailed it. Cantered into the 2 stride. Could NOT see a distance, AGH!!!!!!!!! What IS it with that? Forward caneter, collected canter, singing my song, counting, I can NOT find it! So, I physically changed my ride. Lightened my seat, opened the canter, and came in in more of a modified 2-point. FINALLY, I found something. The problem is the jump is higher than teeny, but lower than big, so by cantering in with a light seat, I could ride him up to the forward spot. I sit deep to the 3', and nail it every time. Crazy. I could totally feel my leg wanting to swing backwards, but it was held nice and securely by the velcroe straps Nicole gave me. My overall position felt really nice about 60% of the time, the other 40%, it was OK. Really didn't have any BAD jumps, and once I changed my seat, FINALLY found a decent spot to the 2 stride more often than not.
Tuesday, I flatted. By this time, he was finally ok with the 3 ring. I remembered my spurs, and that was helpful. I didn't have to nag him so much with my leg. Trot work felt nice, so I worked a little more on the canter. Played around with my hands/legs, and actually felt the bit doing it's job. Tiki still wants to lean a bit at the canter, and fall in a little bit with the inside shoulder, so the bit really helped me keep him straight and not falling in at all. Cool. The boy worked really hard; he felt really good. Didn't do any "tricks", but worked on cantering straight, and circling at the canter. Used the leverage from the bit to help him FEEL what it's like to hold himself up. Did some nice lengthening/collecting at the trot, and also did some hand gallop/canter transitions. Ended on a great note.
Yesterday, it was hills. Decided to bareback it with a halter and lead rope again. He was perfect again, yay! Quiet, happy, and worked that butt:)
Today, I moved the jumps around. Set 4 jumps across the center of the ring; 2 outside singles, 2 inside diagonal singles, all lined up in a row. Had my 3' cav stack oxer, an 18" vertical, a 3'3 vertical, and a 2'6 vertical. Wanted to work on "flow", and NOT leaning, and adjusting my eye. Warmup went well; he was a little lazy today. I had to nag a little with my spur, but by today, he felt AWESOME in the 3 ring. Soft acceptance is what I felt, YAY! Had some really nice halt/trot transitions, and had some nice canter circles. His neck felt nice and flexible, and his jaw was very soft. Rocked the canter transitons, then finally trotted into the 18" vertical. Yuck. Did NOT feel good. He was LAZY coming in, and my shoulders popped up in the air, boo.:( Came about 4 more times, and it never felt GOOD. The jump was so low, he just didn't come in with any oomph, and since my stirrups were tied, I couldn't really kick him at the base. I guess that's why I should ride with a crop, haha! Finally gave up on that one, and cantered into the 2'6. That felt good. Came back and trotted the 18", and NOW he finally took me to it a little bit, and it felt good. Jumped a few of the jumps just random, and then put my little course of outside 2'6, inside 3'3, outside 3', inside 18". It felt SO good, I kept going back to the inside 3'3, outside 3', inside 18", outside 2'6. He felt SO good I came to the 3'3 just one more time (which usually is a recipe for disaster for ME), and got a hair deep, but felt great over. I sat tall to every jump, focused on closing my leg, concentrated on a following, automatic release, and stayed in my 2-point on landing. I literally felt like we just NAILED the 9 jumps, so he was done, done, done. It was awesome, today felt GREAT!
Took my bridle apart and cleaned it really well, and put the snaffle back on. I'll definitely be buying one of the 3 ring waterfords. It will be great for a big group trail ride or hunter pace or cross country schooling, and also for a periodic schooling at home. I belive it's good for the horses to switch the equipment up now and again, keeps them on their toes.;) Tomorrow will be another hack day ... considering maybe hacking in the pasture, since I haven't done that in awhile.