Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back on Track

We're finally getting everything back together. I had a pretty great 4-day weekend, where I managed to ride 3 times in 4 days. We had a lesson Thursday, I practiced on Saturday, and we had another, 10x better lesson today!

Val had been feeling odd recently. His transitions were getting lazy; he was moving sluggishly in all gates. In our lesson, our trainer was able to pinpoint the problem. I was doing too much collection and not allowing him to stretch; I was basically asking him to move forward, but then never letting him. So we spent the first lesson establishing a contact in a "stretch-down" frame and got him moving forward to the bit, then Saturday, I spent the day keeping the stretch connection through transitions and changes of bend, and I even played with shortening the reins back up and getting him to reach forward to the bit in his dressage-length reins.

Today, we put the finesse on the stretchy frame and went over some trot poles. The exercise was a square made up of 4 trot rails so that you could approach it from any direction. The idea was to get straight to it, not mess with him over the poles, then re-establish the stretchy connection before turning after going over the poles.

In the past, I've had difficulties getting him over poles without him tripping over them, but today he was right on and he hardly even nicked a pole once. That went very well, and we also got Val moving off my outside leg and softening on the left rein, which he sometimes gets stiff on.

We're supposed to start cantering over some poles to get a little more lift in his canter; my trainer says he is getting a bit flat.

Val has also, finally, been getting pieces of a bath. On Saturday, I did his legs and tail, and today, he got his mane and neck done. Eventually he'll have his face cleaned, and I'll have a 100% white horse! Of course, his main body is still fairly clean; he always has his blanket on when he rolls.

And that was my fantastic four-day weekend. I'm going to do my best to ride tomorrow; we'll see how that goes!

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm.... white horses are fun :D
    I need to post sommmeethingggg..... just don't have much to talk about :/