I don't mean for that to sound snotty - I'm sure they're doing all kinds of fun things. But I have so much fun with my horses I can't imagine how other people live without them.
Doug and I went to the Ron Postleb clinic at Atlantic Equestrian Center in Beaverbank this morning. I really enjoyed it. He taught each horse and rider combination in a way that was specifically tailored to them (I've seen clinicians teach the same thing all day) and you could see them improving through their lesson. Some things / exercises I want to remember:
- 10 m trot circles in the corners and shoulder in down the long side
- trot across the diagonal switching to leg yield after starting across
- bend to the inside (a lot) to help the horse get round
- if the horse starts to rush, transition down until he is responding well
- make sure the horse is correctly bent (slightly) to the inside and engaged before asking for canter
- half halt with the inside rein on canter circles to get the horse on the bit, but don't nag
After attending the clinic in the morning we went to brunch and then I had a lesson with Cheryl. We worked on longing (getting a good trot, forward, round and tracking up) and then I rode - trot loops (changing bending) and canter - steering for him, correct riding for me. Cheryl is a lot happier with the bending now, but I have to work on getting that last bending change in the loop stronger. Also I need to remember not to post too much - just a relaxed minimal movement.
We're happy with his canter, but I need to get the up transition sharper. We did canter down the long side, then into a circle and he aced it several times. He's ready for a little more of a challenge I think.
I remembered to work with half halts today, and was surprised at how quickly he picked it up. It isn't new to him, but it's never been a confirmed thing for him and I gave up in the heat of the summer (he just stalled out). After practicing half halts all around the arena in both directions transitioning from walk to trot and back, I did a half halt in trot to ask for canter and he was cantering before I was ready. I think I may have a clue as to why his up transition to canter isn't as good as it was - when he gets very sharp on it (does it instantly), I fall behind him! Ug. How awful is that? I am determined to go with him - not ahead, not behind - with him. When I do, and ensure that he's engaged first, I think our canter transition problem will be solved.
His energy level today was nice - not at all the over the top energy of two days ago, and he hadn't been turned out today because it was raining. He was happy and forward but calm and sweet. I just don't understand these dramatic shifts in his energy. Savanah and Dan stay pretty much the same, but Rogo's seems to fluctuate a lot. Is it a young horse thing?Doug and Savanah had a great ride too - all in all a really fun day. Now I'm getting ready for a crazy busy work week (Lunenburg, Digby and Truro and away from home two nights). Gotta pay the horse board and lessons!