|Love my smile here. This was the first time I REALLY felt her trot to the base and rock back nice and easy:)|
Rode Ms. Jade last Sat. She was pretty much a rock star. She's been on the back burner as well until after the show b/c all my free time is spent planning, writing emails, trying to coordinate EVERYTHING on my one day off, but I have ridden her on my off Saturdays. A few weeks ago, we did the grid and she was so amazing. Last week, I decided to mix things up and canter. A LOT! I haven't been doing a LOT of canter with her, really it's been a lot of trot. And her trot is MUCH better than Tiki's was. (I say WAS b/c his new kidlet is out there scoring 32's in dressage, woot woot!!!) She CAN get on the strong, quick side, but lately that tendency has been pretty much non-existent.
Anyway, I w/t her and she was good, so I picked up the canter. All was well; her bulging and dragging on the flat has gotten WAY better, and she's learned how to respond reasonably well to a half halt. So ... I cantered her to a jump! Landed, circled, cantered some more. She was so shocked, she backed herself off, lol :) All in all, I spent about 12 minutes (I checked my watch) just cantering different jumps. I cantered tall crossrails, the red box w/ a pole, a small brush box, a gate w/ a pole, and a vertical sitting about 2'3. There was even a crossrail/vertical/vertical combo. 1 stride to a 3-4 stride. Eh, that was just OK. It was set heading STRAIGHT to the barn, and in the area where she likes to pop that shoulder at the last second and DRAG to the rail. She quickened a few times through it, but also had a few really good moments. I had the 2nd vertical up at 2'3, the 1st crossrail was TINY, and the 3rd element was a 3'3 crossrail. A little awkward, but overall not too bad.
Not going to lie, there were a few moments where I had to literally stick my right spur in her on landing, and I did have to really haul her around a few times turning left (that RIGHT bulge, ugh!), but for the most part I was very excited. The jumps weren't an issue at ALL, it's now just working to improve the overall quality of the canter and eliminate that drag to the right once and for all. The spooking has become very much a non-issue, and her work ethic has improved tremendously. Very proud of the mare! S will be taking her to her very first OFF grounds show next weekend :) I'm very sad I'll miss it since I'll be working my tail off all weekend at Event Barn. Until next time!