The first few days after the show I just rode bareback on the lunge line at walk and trot, and ride Savanah some. The bareback is to help me get a better, more relaxed and quiet seat on Rogo. I do it on the lunge because he gets excited about it, and also because I want to just think about relaxation and balance. He's getting used to it now, but I think I'll stay on the lunge for awhile as it really helps to focus. I can see / feel an improvement already. I have to be careful not to make his back sore though - he isn't used to sitting trot or bareback, so I only do it for 5 or 10 minutes.
I'm riding Savanah more because Doug's arthritis is getting worse and right now he finds it too painful to ride. This is very sad because he is a good rider and Savanah is very fun to ride. He'd planned to show again this summer with her (they did very well last summer), but he won't be able to. We're going to see what we can do medically to try to improve things for him and get him back in the saddle.
Savanah is living proof that good basics are the building blocks for moving up the levels. She has only been trained in Training Level, with Level 1, test 1 two years ago. Since I've started riding her more I'm trying lots of level 1 and 2 movements, and she can pretty much do all of them, even though she hasn't schooled them. They would need practice and polish for a show, but it would come fast. She is just so supple and responsive to the aids that you can ask her for anything within reason and she'll do it. We did three loop canter serpentines with canter / walk / canter simple changes over the center line and she picked it up really fast - 2nd try and she had it. I'm going to talk to Joan about starting her schooling flying changes. She did the same with shoulder it - just ask for it, she confirms "you want this?" and then we can trot effortlessly in a shoulder -in with no previous practice. All the training level training has gotten her ready for more for sure.
Rogo was full of it today. I lunged and rode and focussed on getting just a little bit of forward and round in each gait. When I got it we quit, because it was raining out. Then I spent the morning, two hours, discussing Rogo's training with Joan, drinking coffee and eating banana bread that Doug had baked. It was a fun discussion. She has a better understanding now that I need her to work with us and to do basics in order to get any better with Rogo; I can't just do on my own with him what she did with Savanah and I. It will be questionable whether she can spend much time with us though as her husband Roy isn't well.
I just posted some pictures of our new land on our facebook page if you're interested.
I had a great weekend with the R.I.D.E.R.S. Board (our dressage club). We met in the Annapolis Valley, then toured Hobby Horse Farm, the location of our July test riding clinic, and then my co-chair Alison took me to see Sue and Jane Fraser's equestrian center. Sue is a level thee dressage coach and a judge - an amazing resource for dressage in Nova Scotia.