Friday, February 4, 2011

Is it Spring yet?

Sigh. It is again freezing, raining, and generally miserable. I was dealing with some issues going on with my equestrian team, so spent about 3 hours on the phone, which robbed me of the opportunity to ride yesterday:( Oh well. So, didn't get to ride yesterday, and it looks like nothing will be going on today either. It rained all night, and it's still raining right now.

Tuesday, I rode in my cc saddle again. I set up 3 cavs 9' apart right down the center of the ring on the lowest setting. Also set 2 poles on each diagonal to practice schooling lead changes over. I love how the plan changes according to what the horse needs. The wind was pretty brutal, but we were able to put that aside, and ride through it. He was still feeling like he wanted to bend, he was coming strongly into the bridle, and he trotted well through the cavs. It was nice that when I cantered into them, he was more willing to wait and get the close one. He did sort of fall into his habit of wanting to rush through the cavs and get really heavy and forward through them. I circled around, half halted, breathed, and just kept going through both directions until finally at the end, he went through quietly and nice. Quit with that. I'd rather go with the simple, and get it right, then try to cram too much into one ride and be all over the place. OH! And I was riding him with the dressage whip, so he wasn't such a slug:)

Wednesday, it was bone chilling cold, but the ring was finally GOOD because it was nice and wet. I put on the dressage tack, quarter sheet, and put on the spurs for the first time, and got to it. He hadn't gone out the night before, so he felt a little cranky. Like he WANTED to be fresh a little bit, but was put out at being out in the cold. He also was seriously sucking back and not wanting to come into the bridle, so I used my spurs liberally to get him in front on my leg. Did a bunch of circles and reverse across diagonals, and he slowly started to come up through the back, and actually got a little *heavy* on my hands. Worked on some half halts to get him lighter, and he finally felt like he was settling in. Did some w/c/t/c/w/t/c etc. transitions, and he has improved IMMENSLY on those. Now, we can go from walk to canter with only one or two trot steps, and can canter from the trot without that disorganized scramble.

Had absolutely NO lead issues, have had NO cross canter issues since the hocks. Actually DID school lead changes today, lol, since I ignored the cavalettis. He did GREAT from left to right, since he likes to land his right lead off a jump. Had some trouble changing right to left because he doesn't land the left lead very often off a jump or pole. He can GET his changes, but we speed up, lean in, and change late usually. I was working on getting them STRAIGHT, SLOW, and in a good spot BEFORE the corner. He had started to lean and pull HARD, and was getting generally anxious and disorganized, so I stopped for a second and patted him. Flexed him into my knee both ways because he'd locked up his jaw and stiffened up. Got his brain back again, and came one more time into the right to left pole. I tried to be textbook. Sit up, compress his stride, move him over with left leg, bend him left, hips to the right at the exact moment over the pole, and he got it clean! Woo Hoo! I then stayed organized, circled and balanced, did the SAME thing at the left to right pole, he nailed it, so I quit.

Had wanted to do hills yesterday, but sometimes life interferes with riding. So, he will get 3 days off, then an IEA show on Sunday. I will probably do hills on Monday instead of giving him the day off since we've gotten a little off schedule. Love my boy, he is the equine light of my life!!!

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