Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vary the Work - That's the Key!

Today was finally an enjoyable session with Lady. Not to say that everything went perfect, but I had more fun than I have had lately, and things just went better.
Our warm-up felt a lot better than usual. Today I did mostly circles at the trot, with a touch of canter, and then we walked some hills. Lady felt pretty relaxed and was moving quite well, with her head lowered too. I was pretty happy. Once she was tracking up better and stretching out, I brought her back in. I groomed her down pretty good and then saddled up.
Today I thought a little bit ahead and set up a few different things beforehand:  a Weave pattern with cones, two really small jumps made from bricks and planks, a big piece of plywood for a pedestal, and a sort of cloverleaf pattern from planks and barrels. While I was doing up the girth, I walked her around, over and between the different things. When I got on, she was pretty relaxed, and I was quite happy with most of the whole ride. I'm having trouble writing, so I'm going to do a bullet list about the ride.  <wink>

  • Lady did break into a trot several times, but was fairly easy to shut down.
  • I actually got her to trot with my aids several times, but I'm not very consistent with my aids.
  • When she would trot, she would start to hollow out. I think its because I'm not good with the transition and probably bump in the saddle.
  • She very easily bumps poles and jumps at the trot, but not at the walk. Hmmm.....
  • When we did the "cloverleaf pattern" she had little respect for the planks I had set up as lanes.
  • The Weave pattern was quite good. We even did a little bit at the trot.
  • She did a bit of rooting on the reins at times and wanted to go back towards the tack shed and the grass. We worked in the area, but I made the plywood (aka pedestal) the resting spot.
  • After working with the obstacles, we went out and walked the driveway a little bit. She was a bit difficult to get going at first, but soon got into the swing of things and enjoyed it.
  • While riding the driveway, I attempted to use only leg aids to keep her on course, instead of rein aids, since those seem to slow her down.  (how interesting....)
  • When heading home, leg aids definitely made her speed up. We'll do some work on that.
Overall, quite a nice afternoon. Much better than the rest of the week. I have to remember to keep the work varied this week, while still working on the same things. Quite a difficult thing sometimes. Some of my ideas for this week are: following the "rail" in the main pasture, doing transitions along the fence, and working over planks and small jumps.

Back to the blog challenge I decided to do, here is day 6 - Describe your dream equestrian facilities.
- at least one hundred acres, partially wooded, with miles of trails
- outdoor arena and manicured grass schooling ring
- large indoor arena, with lights, heating, and mirrors!
- oversized stalls, 20+ of them, at least 14 by 14 feet square, and traditional dutch doors
- a Paddock Paradise system, covering at least 10 miles, set up for rehabilitating horses
- barn with enormous tack room, wash bay, grooming area, etc.

It would be gorgeous, natural, and very very horse-friendly, unlike a lot of facilities.

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