Blog Updates and Morning Lesson
I figured out how to see my # of hits and countries they are coming from - Canada, US, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Japan, France, Australia and New Zealand. This is way cool! I know there are many more popular blogs, but I'm thrilled that anyone reads this, or just stops by. Let's face it - it's kind of a niche market :) I write about the minutia of dressage aids and my training goals in painful detail. There are kind souls and kindred spirits out there though and I'm really enjoying getting to 'know' them. Please leave me a comment or 'follow' if you're dropping by. I love to hear from people.
My blog started just as a way for me to keep track of my training, but I've discovered so many interesting blogs. It's great to be able to read how other people are doing and to get advice when you run into a road block.
I've updated my media links and added a few new ones. Any suggestions for good dressage / equestrian links?
Now, today's lesson with Cheryl. I think, seriously, that Rogo doesn't like having a teacher in the ring with him. I've always thought things went worse in a lesson than on my own because I was more tense in front of someone (obviously things don't go worse in all ways - I need the lesson to learn, but when practicing we do better alone.) But after today, I'm thinking it's both Rogo and I. He took a dive at Cheryl at one point. He did this at her barn once last winter too. He's never really come close to her, but he's attempting to warn her off. Good luck with that Rogo - she's stronger than you! I think that might be what he doesn't like. Don't get me wrong - he's affectionate and kind to her any other time, like he is with everyone. I think he senses though that she is a strong presence and that she's drilling us through a routine. He is resisting that. He's been taking a nice contact / staying in a fairly good position lately, but today we had to warm up for quite awhile to get it. His head was in the air and his nose was pointed at the moon most of the time for the first 20 minutes.
Cheryl gave us a great exercise though - circle at each end of a long side and flex to the inside when straight. After doing this at the trot for a few minutes he relaxed and dropped his head (for the most part). This was when he decided to head at her at one point. He got a whack for it.
Then history repeated itself with the canter. He did very well last week until Joan was there, when he wouldn't canter at all without being chased into it (I think Joan was close to fainting with horror when I did that) . Yuk. He's been great at the canter since then - doing his best work ever, until today in front of Cheryl. Guess what? No canter. To be precise, he did so so picking it up in the corner and starting to cross the diagonal (the plan being to switch to a trot at roughly X). Then he decided he wasn't even going to do that. Soooo, we had to work and work to get him to canter out of a corner on a left lead. Frustrating, but ...
I'm not going to let it bother me this time. I know now that it's coming and going at this point. We're on the right track.
Things to remember about today's lesson:
- keep him flexed to the inside and solid against my outside rein to prevent him from hopping out of the ring again
- don't trot until he is lowering his head and accepting contact; do lots of bending to get started
- praise and reward when he softens
- don't try to pull him up when he drops his head too much - squeeze my legs and he'll come up (otherwise he could get over bent)
One last note - we signed up to do W/T C and D at the Truro gold show, and I now realize that W/T D (Introductory level in the US) is impossible to ride in a 20 X 60 ring and not really realistic in a 20 X 40 ring (1/2 20m circle X to A and turn up the center line at A? On a green walk trot horse? ). Has anyone tried a competition with this test? We're switching tests.
ps - I reread this and it may sound like I'm blaming Rogo. Don't mean to. I'm a big part of what's going on. The fact that he may be a bit off too with someone else there hadn't occurred to me before.