Doug and I Have a Lesson with Joan

Doug and I had a lesson with Joan this morning. Doug and Savanah focused on turn on the forehand, and Rogo and I were focusing on canter. Of course we did other things, but these were the main things Joan wanted us to work on today. Doug and Savanah had a great ride last night, so he was hoping she'd be the same today. Of course that never works. She wasn't bad, but not as good as last night. They did a little canter toward the end of the lesson, and unfortunately had a bit of an accident. Savanah tripped where there was a trail worn in the ring, and fell to her knees. Doug stayed on, but poor Savanah hit hard. Doug got right off and she had a skinned knee and was limping. The poor sweetie turned her face into Doug's chest and held it there as if asking for help. He took her into her stall and put liniment on it. Before he could touch her, she held her sore leg up to him as if to show him where it hurt :(
After a few minutes he was able to lead her around without any limping, so I think she'll be fine. He won't ride for a few days, but will keep her turned out (our horses can enter and leave their stalls on their own) and hand walk her if needed to try to avoid stiffness.
Rogo couldn't have been more lazy today. Wow. I worked for every step. Squeezing, kicking, tapping, it all came into play. It wasn't overly hot and we only had a very easy ride for about a half hour yesterday, and the day before that he had off, so I don't know why he was so lacking in energy. If we stopped for a minute he'd go to sleep! Of all days to try to impress Joan with canter work! Anyway, we did lots of walk trot transitions, tried to get impulsion at the trot, etc., etc. I did end up getting two decent canters each way, but I had to give him a rather firm tap with the whip to get them. Not good. He has been transitioning much better for months (one quiet ask) than he has been lately. Before he'd pick it up easily, but not hold it, now it's hard to get it, but when you do he'll keep it. Go figure.
We also worked at trying to get his head into a more correct position. It comes and goes. Walk is pretty good most of the time, and he'll do a few steps of trot, but then out it goes. Cheryl spent a lot of time working on this with us on Tues. She did bending exercises with us and that helped.
Finally we did a bit of sitting trot. I could sit to Savanah's biggest trot, and with Dan it's like he's gliding, but Rogo is a different ball game. His trot has so much bounce and suspension, even when he's basically jogging. I'm hoping that if I just do short stretches at a slow trot that I'll eventually work up to longer stretches and bigger trots. I don't need to sit now anyway. With Savanah I did a lot of bare back riding in all gaits, in the ring and on the beach / in the woods to get the sitting trot and strengthen my seat and that really helped. Maybe I can try that with Rogo on the longe line at some point.
When I was finished with Rogo I went to see Savanah in her stall and she held her sore leg up to me to show me her boo boo. Poor baby girl. She is so sweet.
Tonight I longed Dan. To make it more interesting for him I put one caveletti (correct spelling anyone?) and one low cross rail out for him to go over and this seemed to make him happy. He was quite forward and licked his lips like crazy whenever we slowed to a walk.
It's time to measure my July goals when Cheryl comes on Tues. I'm afraid we've failed miserably. I thought the canter was going to meet our goals, but it's taken a down turn, and the same is true for contact. We might squeak through in improved left bending. Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself. Better not start guessing. We have a few more days until she gets here!
A final note - this article, Where Is the Art In Dressage Today presents an interesting perspective.

Have a great long weekend everyone. My red wine is calling...


Wolfie said…
Hi there! I just wanted to say thanks for following my blog. I see that you are located in Nova Scotia - the province of my birth. :-) I look forward to reading about you and your adventures with Rogo,