|LOVE his beautiful face!|
|3'3, perfect distance, perfect form from both of us!|
|Tiny fence, just cantering over|
|I really like this one too:)|
For the last week, it's been 60's -70's. This type of weather is not conducive to feeling the "Christmas Spirit", but it has been lovely riding/running weather!
Rode Muffin Man today for the first time since Sunday. LR rode him on Sunday and did some good dressage stuff in the pasture. She's been working on helping him to unlock through his back and really reach and stretch down into contact, but in a LIGHT way. She's helped SO much on my downward transitions, Tiki really feels GOOD now and doesn't bear down so much on my hands when I ask him to come back to me. He still doesn't stay round and connected through his poll, but that WILL come, I know it!
Today I slapped on the cc saddle and the "hacking" bridle, and up we went! I was feeling ambitious, so I set up a cav line at a "normal" 5 strides (which would ride long for the teeny little 12" cavs), and a gymnastic down the center of the ring. I set 3 trot poles, a bounce with 2 tall crossrails, a pole, and a wide oxer. To begin with, it was just the trot poles, one crossrail, and the rest were poles on the ground to start. I didn't realize it, but the "wide" oxer I had set on the ground was actually 4' wide!
I decided NOT to do the Jimmy Wofford warm up, and I actually did spend some time flatting. What I took away mostly from riding with Paul MacRae is that I always need to make sure he's going forward, and I need to watch that subtle left bulge. So, I spent some quality time walking on contact, reversed through a turn on the forehand (totfh). Once I picked up the trot, I just shot him out in front of my leg, then worked on steadying and lengthening the stride. I went a few laps, then worked a 20m circle at the center of each side; both the long and short sides. I then halted, totfh, same thing the other way. Halt/totfh, canter ... canter the 20m circles like I did at the trot both directions.
Holy smokes, the entire last half of this post got eaten:( OMG, I don't want to type it all out again!!!
To paraphrase a little bit, I alternated 6, 5, and 7 strides in the cav line. I was careful of the left bulge, and even though he DID it, it wasn't perfect any of the times I did it in terms of softness and obedience. He did the 7's off both leads, but it was a resistant feeling 7. The 5 was a 4 1/2 at one point because he got SO flat, but then I did the 7's to get him bouncy again.
The gymnastic, I alternated coming in left then right each time. I approached in 2 pt each time, and he was not bad. Stayed pretty straight, kept a good rhythm, and he didn't let me down. I could feel him reach big time over the "ditch"! That was a good challenge for him:) I set the gymnastic gradually, doing first the other crossrail, then the oxer. The oxer I wimped out on and moved it in 1'! It was too wide; I was afraid that without a 3rd pole on there, he would put a leg down and "swim" through it. Coming in, he tried to canter, got tangled up in the trot poles, and took out a crossrail with a hind leg hard enough to land 3 legged. Good pony though, he didn't try to stop or run out! I let him walk off the sting, then came again. He surprisingly came in very well, and bounced his little red butt through no problem! The last time through, I concentrated on ALL things I've been working on. Heels DOWN/following hand (per Paul)/body controlled (per Simon)/ no bulge (P) no drift (S) ... felt super! I could feel him really jump UP over the oxer and use himself, so for that I was happy.
LR will ride this weekend, I will do hills in the draw reins tomorrow, and life is good! Thank heavens for clipped ponies! He would have been a disgusting mess otherwise:)