|All snazzed up; trimmed his whiskers, bridlepath, tail, and mane! And look ... hoof oil!|
|Looking snazzy today in our OTTB designs pad and our fancy HS bit:)|
Today was SO much fun! It was the first time I've lessoned with Janet as a group lesson. I decided to use the HS D-ring on his xc bridle; I've never tied his mouth shut using it before. The only bummer of the day is Janet says he's pretty off behind. She says I need to do his hocks again, and maybe even the SI. She seems to think if I do both he will be a super happy camper. Sigh. PLEASE God, just let me win the Powerball tonight ... but I digress.
Gigi had me trotting SO forward ... I've been working on being that forward at home; starting out quick, but finally settling in to a more reasonable pace. Janet didn't like so much forwardness; she had me slow down to the point that I felt like I was crawling. I kept on the leg and asked him to reach forward, and I guess it was sufficient because Janet didn't have to harp on it too much. The awesome thing about group work is we sort of warmed ourselves up ... I decided to show off our lateral work, FINALLY:) Janet was happy with it, yay! She did warn against losing too much forwardness, but she liked my shoulder-ins enough to have me demonstrate them, woo hoo! It felt good to finally show off our strengths a little bit:) My upward canter transitions were GREAT, I was super happy with that. I was bummed the little booger was kind of fresh today. I could NOT get him to keep his lead behind; every time we settled into a nice canter he would swap behind, even throwing in some full unauthorized lead changes:( Pretty typical when there's more than just ... well, us, in the ring. In retrospect, I should have shoved ear plugs in, then slapped on the ear net. That's helped a ton in the IEA shows. Overall, very happy with the flat work; Janet didn't have to say ANYTHING about the neck set, woo hoo! THAT was a huge accomplishment in itself. I also didn't throw him away or get too busy with my hands; the theme of the lesson today was to work as hard as possible to get him to SIT DOWN. Which he never really did.
Our warm up was a left hand trot to a crossrail, LONG left lead approach to a purple box at the top of the ring on the diagonal, then a tight right hand turn back to a LONG right lead approach back to the crossrail, but trot it again. That went GREAT! I felt really together trotting the xr, he stayed nice and even to the box, then a perfect trot back to the xr. He felt nice. Did it twice more, and Janet actually said she really liked our pace and rhythm, woo hoo!!!!! Do y'all KNOW how hard I've worked for that compliment?? Added on; did the xr bending line to a 'big' natural box on a diagonal at the bottom of the ring, continued left lead to the purple box, tight right turn back around to a 2 stride vertical to swedish oxer that was right next to the xr. From there, continuing to the first jump in the outside line off the right lead, right rollback to an oxer, then left lead back through the 2 stride the opposite way. It was super fun:) We managed to make it through like a pair of hunters:) Janet admonished me to sit UP, and he was doing his lack of 'sitting down' and getting a little strong and on his forehand. She noticed he was just getting very heavy and flat and I need to do a better job of keeping him up and light. I just need to RIDE in between the jumps ... and invest in injections, chiro, and a custom saddle. No biggie, I'll just write a check for all that.
Love my muffin; he really tried his heart out, and when Janet jacked the jumps up a few holes to around 2'9, he still felt great. I made a decision to EVERY jump (only had 2 distance bad enough to mention) I felt I had a good release at every jump, and I didn't snap up on top of the jump once. I was super, super, super happy and proud of both of us. Next time I'll remember to stuff those ears!