Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Keeping It Simple

Lady got the weekend off because me was rather sick, starting on Saturday.  :(  

I finally felt good enough to get out and play with her today and we had a light groundwork session. She didn't want to approach me when I went to catch her, so I sat down a little ways away and practiced my singing. I tried a few different songs, but it took a "heart-felt" rendition of Reflection from Disney's Mulan and then both of them were nosing me all over. Tehe.

Dad had pulled out a chest freezer from the shop to clean and Lady was quite curious about it so we went over to check it out and she decided it wasn't as interesting close up as it had been far away. Silly horsie.

We started off doing some circles at the walk. I've been really focusing on getting her to change direction smoothly at the trot lately. At the walk, she was very good today and I made sure she would turn towards me and not stop, but keep moving. When she was feeling pretty solid in that, I moved it up to a gentle, slow trot and insisted only that she not stop when I asked for the direction change. She still broke down to a walk, but kept moving, which is an improvement. Pretty happy about that! :)

I had some work planned on simulating leg pressure when in the saddle while on the ground (not sure if that made sense). I did this by using a hand and/or stick in the area where my leg would be and played with both moving sideways and doing hindquarter/forequarter yields with just small amounts of pressure. I really want her to respond to my legs without constant reminding from the reins and I figured this would be an ideal way to kickstart those responses. :)  She did quite well and I am pleased with her.

Lady felt a little tense, so I rubbed on her neck a little. On a whim, I decided to pull off the halter completely and have a little fun at liberty. We did some draw and then went on to circles, which she was absolutely perfect about!! Circles at the walk and trot, transitions between those gaits, lovely walk change of directions, relaxed head and neck, swinging stride, and some nice tracking up, all there! And completely loose in the field and she never once thought about leaving. SO proud of her! :)

Love this face <3

In other news, I've been really trying to set up a good schedule/routine thing so that she can settle into regular work/schooling/stuff and we can really start learning things and improving consistently. Therefore, here is my plan for the rest of May, starting tomorrow. I'm not fancy enough to put a calender together or anything for the blog, so you've got a list :)

Wednesday:  Fitness, aka trot sets. Possibly a bath. Maybe :)

Thursday:  Arena time. Focus on bending around things and doing transitions. Hack out afterwards.

Friday:  Jumping, possibly free jumping. Mostly poles and some low crossrails.

Saturday:  Planning to take off. Might do something fun, just because. :)

Sunday:  Either a rest day or a fun day, depending on Saturday.

Monday:  Dressage work. Practice Movement 1 from USDF Intro Test A. Also work on going through corners properly and focus on practicing my posting trot along the rail of the arena.

Tuesday:  Fitness Day. 10-15 minutes on the hills and possibly trot sets. Considering trying a gallop too, just because I want to! Tehe.

Wednesday:  Dressage work. Work with transitions, Figure8 and Serpentines. Focus on the trot-walk downward transition.

Thursday:  Jump Day! School on the ground over crossrails and ride some poles. Also focus on completing goals for May.

Friday:  Fitness - Trot Sets, possibly at liberty. Also 10 minutes of hills, first ridden fitness segment. Hack out again.

Some people don't like to plan sessions out with much detail, but I've found that if I don't have a plan in mind, I try to make everything perfect and that never turns out well. Not to say that I won't change my plan if its not working, but helps me mentally, and we usually get more accomplished this way.  We'll see how this one turns out!

1 comment:

  1. Simulating leg pressure with your hand is a good idea. I saddle up and then use the stirrups themselves to apply the pressure so that I can be sure the right spot is touched consistently.
    Having a plan is a very good idea. Every time I ride I have a plan and use the ground play to simulate the riding play. This comes from James Roberts. I've put a copy of his plan here http://plan2plan.vacau.com//Plan%20to%20Plan.html . An updated and more advanced version is here http://plan2planv2.netii.net/Horse%20development%20plan.html