Sunday, January 13, 2013

Canter dodgeball

Whew, what a great lesson for what was a rather difficult night! The arena was packed tonight, and although the individual with a lesson booked is supposed to have the right of way, when there are three other riders it's just borderline impossible.

We started out great considering we had a small spat in the aisle way over herdboundness again. She was great tacking up, and then someone came out of the arena and tied up by us. She was fine until I "ground tied" her to go grab my gloves and the other individual left the barn with her horse - Jynx took it upon herself to turn around and follow. I grabbed her reins and asked her to whoa and she stood briefly before heading off again. I reached out again to grab her reins, and she decided to throw her head and shoulder check me. I grabbed my Dressage whip and gave her a good pop across the chest and told her to stand which made her jump pretty hard but she listened to me and stood! I gave her a good pat and told her good girl and thankfully it ended there and she went into the arena calmly - probably helped by someone else already being in the arena so at least she wasn't alone.

Warmup went great, I kept her on a loose rein. Shay-la was playing around roping a dummy cow at one end and she was looking pretty good so we stood and chatted for awhile until she was fine with it. Went into a nice loose rein working trot until she was nice and loosened up. She stayed nice and round when I went into sitting trot, so I bumped her up into canter and she was fantastic - nice, soft, and supple especially considering the long rein I had her on.

Kali arrived and we went right into some posting trot four strides and sitting trot four strides. Wowsa, talk about tricky! Poor Bella, I was so busy counting and trying to pay attention to my own position, I pretty much just let her head go. She was so patient with me being all over the place - timing has never been my strong suit! We finally managed to pull things together (aka. I managed to stop flopping around) and the exercise went well! We went straight into canter and she was fantastic. We worked on shortening and lengthening her strides, which is especially difficult with such a sensitive horse! I don't think I quite match her in sensitivity yet so I tend to over cue - we broke stride a few times before I refined asking her to shorten a little. We went into downwards transitions which went half decent! I still have to really work with managing to keep my hips loose enough and moving with her enough into sitting trot.

It was getting crowded in the arena, so we went into some walking travers which Kali had me turn into the beginnings of walk pirouettes. Jynx was just phenomenal - no getting stuck, no resisting, just soft and supple and willing! Our first few strides were great but kind of tended to fall apart near the end as we came further out of travers and I lost feeling with her a little. She stayed great though - it's SO easy for me to get her stuck doing any sort of lateral work, it was nice to not even approach that point. We did several which were kind of big and sloppy, but for a first time it was pretty damn amazing!

So we went back into posting four strides and sitting four strides in the other direction and then up into canter again and working on shortening and lengthening before moving onto 15m circles. At this point, conditions in the arena just deteriorated to the point where I was having a lot of trouble doing any sort of real circles without breaking stride, dodging or almost running the poor girl into the wall. At this point, another person came into the arena and I just called it quits. Jynx was working far too good to keep punishing her with these circumstances. I couldn't have been more proud with how she handled everything today.

After I walked her out, I took her out and threw a cooler and then brought her back in to a much quieter arena. I hopped on bareback to cool her out but she's had a lot of issues bareback in the past (pretty much hates it, pins her ears and stops when asked to canter, and lately has been just crowhopping on her partboarder instead of even walking), so I decided to work with her a bit. Again, grinning from ear to ear. She was absolutely brilliant - walk, trot and canter in a halter and on a loose "rein". She wasn't overly happy in the beginning but I assume my seat has gotten a LOT better so she smoothed out and handled it like a pro!

No pictures tonight, but I dressed up the Arab Western and decided to play on barrels tonight and she was a champ to. Needless to say, both my horses got a lot of love and treats tonight for being utterly amazing!

No comments:

Post a Comment