Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Post holiday recap!

Lots of pats for a job well done!

Cool canter pic

I like this one :)

Perfect example of how "alert" she always is

Walking from round pen to ring

The holidays have kept me a little bit busy lately :)  My wonderful SIL was in town, so I didn't want to abandon her to go ride, but I DID drag her with me one day to take a few pics, woo hoo!  I haven't been to awesome eventing barn in a few weeks because I only have one day to go out, and with Christmas and now New Year both falling on that ONE day ... oh well, it's not going anywhere!

I did ride Jade Friday and Saturday.  She was a doll!  The waterford bit came in, and I actually love her in it (like I thought I would;))  I put that on Tiki's old 'hunter' bridle with a regular noseband, but still paired it with the running martingale just in case ... I LIKE my nose 'as is', lol.  The weather has just been fantastic, great temps and no wind, so I think that probably has had a small effect on Jade's behavior as well.

Friday, S was actually at the barn riding a barn horse and got to watch me ride Jade.  There was a lot of cacaphony going on at the barn, but she handled it pretty well.  I longed her in the roundpen first (with not much action) and mounted in there.  Both days, she stood like a statue and did not MOVE, good girl. :)  I rode her in the lower ring, aka her "comfort zone".  She began pretty well, with me only having to spin her a hand full of times.  From there, she actually tried to throw a little bit of a hissy fit, actually kicking up once or twice in protest to being ridden forward and on the contact.  I stuck it out, spun her around a few more times, and she decided to get her stuff together pretty quickly after that.

I tried to do some more rail work with her that day, so not so much figure 8ing ... she actually seemed like she got a tad anxious working around the entire ring like that; when I DID go to a few schooling figures, she really blew out a deep breath and put in some great work for me.  I was super happy with the trot work, I feel like we're making progress and holding pretty steady.  S has been able to ride her this holiday time, which is GREAT!  Went to the canter, and it wasn't even what I would call GOOD; it was just ok.  She holds the correct lead, which is great.  Other than that, it was fast, heavy, unbalanced, and just overall anxious.  I patted her anyway, though, because it definitely could be worse than what it was!  We ended with walking the little path around the pastures together; lots of spooks and scoots!

Saturday, I rode her in the upper ring with all the jumps.  Leaps and bounds better than the other time I rode her up there.  She didn't spook once.  She TRIED to, but I sensed the tenseness and immediately asked for shoulder in, then leg yield, then shoulder in, then leg yield, just trying to get her mind on ME and not what ever else she could think about.  I rode all around the jumps, making lots of circles, squares, half turn in reverse, trot over poles straight on, trot over poles at an angle, and I finally began to really make transitions.  I tend to get a little "stuck" in my trot work, just doing LOTS of trot all the time.  I did that with Tiki too.  I made her work on w-t-w-t-h-t-h-w, then added in canter. WOW, what a difference in the canter.  The left lead felt GREAT, I really worked on half halting pretty aggressively, then just softening and allowing her to carry herself; that strategy was pretty darn good if I do say so myself:)  Right lead wasn't too bad, but there was certainly some head flinging going on.  Went back to the trot, and was able to actually put my leg on her, and even clucked once!  WOW, lol.  I only had to do maybe 5 spins total with her that day.  In fact ... she felt SO good, at the very end I put her on a short turn, then out of nowhere pointed her at a teeny tiny baby crossrail.  She happily hopped over, making a nice jump for me, landed cantering, and seemed quite pleased with herself :)  LOTS of pats, loose rein, and all was right with the world.

Took today to catch up on some housework, I will ride her again on Saturday since I'm not working.  S rode her today, so hopefully she was a good girl!  Having so much fun, just happy to be riding again:)  Hope all y'all had a great Christmas and New Year ... I can't complain about mine :D