Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getting Back on Track, April 3

Today's lesson went a little better, but that may be because my back is still bothering me so I didn't try to push him out of his comfort zone. And he needs to be pushed a little bit out of his comfort zone right now. He has learned, unfortunately, to evade the aids by going sideways away from the inside rein and jamming himself in a corner. The same trick he used to do on the longe and still tries occasionally if he thinks he can get away with it. I have to take my share of blame (hmmm, maybe all the blame). I tend to hold the inside rein too long and he doesn't need anything but a feel of it for one stride now. So I guess he can't be blamed for trying to get away from that. Also, on the up side, I can ride with lighter aids. I'm still learning his 'feel'. He's in a stage where it changes, a lot, from one day to the next. This is where it really shows that it's my first time training a young horse from the ground up. I'm not keeping up with his evolving responsiveness. I must do better! He is a great boy and deserves to be developed into a sensitive and responsive dressage horse.
I am realizing I was a little spoiled with Savannah. Although dressage was new to her, she quickly took a nice contact, stayed totally even and on the bit all the time and it wasn't an issue.
Luckily I had Joan to help me back him and Cheryl closely over-seeing everything. They'll keep me from going off the rails.
Here are the things I need for Training Level, where I was with them when I started Rogo back to work, where I am now and where I want to be by the end of April:

Training Goal Dec. 15 April 1 April 30
accepting contact 0 3 7
bending 0 4 7
working trot 0 6 9
canter 0 4 7
circles 3 5 7
halt 1 2 5
straight on ctr. line 0 1 6
free walk 3 5 9
medium walk 3 6 9

Those aren't really achievable in some cases, but I want to set the bar high. We have our work cut out for sure. But I have a very nice horse, a very good teacher and a good place to train.
This is so much fun. especially with Doug and Cheryl training for training level too.
I think I'll start riding him more, but give him a day that's physically easier between hard work days. Also, we can introduce longing and riding outside to break things up.

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