|my fav carrot faced gal|
Penny had a few days off at the start of last week, with her busy weekend, and then I schooled Weds/Fri and Saturday I took her to my moms for a ride. She was again a bit excited with the commotion in the barn but once we started warming up for our lesson she settled. She was much quieter than the weekend before which was nice.
We started the lesson with our regular warm up, and V reminded me to keep my reins nice and short and be soft. She had 3 poles set up across the middle of the ring, and we did figure eights at the trot through the poles. I was told to let Penny go more forward into the poles so her stride opens and stretches more, so she doesn't feel like she has to rush to get the distance. Penny also falls in left so I was reminded to keep that left leg on through the turn and help her bend and maintain a better balance.
From there, we added a canter after the poles. For Penny, we keep the poles and transition quiet. My body and hands soft, everything very quiet and like glass. We canter around the short end and back around, down to trot and then change rein over the poles and canter the opposite direction. We repeated this figure eight until the horses were relaxing into the exercise and moving well. We then added onto the exercise, after picking up the canter, canter large, and on the long side tear drop back to the wall keeping the counter canter. A simple change through trot, then back to the poles in the center, trotting beforehand, pick up canter opposite direction after, then again around a tear drop with simple change on the other rein.
|some of the exercise set up, but at my moms to try with Ronnie|
This was such a good exercise, I had to try it with Ronnie later that night. For Penny and I, I really had to work on just keeping my hands as soft as possible, and letting her canter into a longer stride and not using too much inside leg. In the tear drops I was to use as little hand as possible and push her stride longer coming towards the wall before the simple change. I also had to be careful not to let her rush or do the change on her own. The exercise helped set Penny up and allowed me to let the exercise do the work for me so I didn't get into a pulling strength battle. Penny was actually very good throughout this whole thing! Her rideability is already a huge improvement from years past.
We expanded on things with the same exercise and then added a waiting line. The waiting line is where things start to fall a bit apart for us. I basically take back too much stride, then she is too short and goes crooked and jumps in small then either has too many strides or guns it out of the line. Our goal is to have 5 easy even strides. At first we got 6, then 4, then 5 but three good ones and two at the end that were more like rockets. I had to pull her up once, which was an improvement from the many times last weekend. V told me to ride her more forward in so she isn't feeling so backed off to start, then maintain and be ready if she does try to run off. She did the 5 in a decent manner. Not perfect by any means, but a huge improvement.
To finish, we added two more verticals on the diagonal that we would do off the rail after the exercise. Our first attempt Penny gunned herself at the jump. Again I just took too much of her back and she got crooked. She had me do the circle over the poles, then around to the single diagonal again, letting her canter and then just being as soft as can be. We cantered around the short end, and then down to the fence and actually maintained the pace perfectly throughout and she nailed the distance and jumped beautifully. We all cheered and V laughed that she didn't think she was going to do it, but she did! I laughed and said I didn't think she was going to either, but she did! We can learn! Yay! haha.
|For the first time ever I have to clip this sweaty lady! Its been unseasonably warm|
We finished the lesson on that great note and had a nice long cool down after. While we still have a long road ahead of us to get her rideable enough to upgrade this summer, I feel like we have made a great start. I am so looking forward to have some regular help this winter from a talented instructor. I gave her a massage later that night to help her relax. I think it worked :)
|totally sleepy after her massage - shes just loose in the barn lol|