It's been so long since I posted I don't know where to start. Guess I'll start with recent stuff and work back, but will probably jump around. To tell the truth, my schooling isn't progressing on the path it should. I'm very troubled about a dear friend in a bad situation, a situation she can't see her way out of and which I'm helpless to change.This sucks the life out of me. Even putting a saddle on a horse seems like a lot of work, let alone having a forward, focused ride. So I walk, bareback. That comforts me. Rogo is new to bareback, so this is good for both of us. Enough said about that.
Prior to this bad situation (my friend) fully coming to light I was focusing on getting more impulsion at the trot. My approach, and I'll get back to it, was to ride twice a day for about 20 minutes each time, and do nothing but forward trot after warming up. Circle at each end and down the long side, forward, forward, forward until it is muscle memory and natural. I also hacked out a bit (more on that), but schooling sessions were just as I described.
I will only try this approach (when I resume) for a few days or a week, then mix it up more. I don't want him to get sour but I think by doing it in short bursts and taking him out of the ring he should be fine. Before that I did the same thing with the walk and he now marches briskly forward quite well with little prompting. I really saw a difference. Even when I got slack and forgot to keep up the walk rhythm he was carrying it in a forward way on his own. So this has been a plus for Sept.
I had my first canter on the beach with Rogo a couple of weeks ago. He was tired from ring work and the sand was deep, so I thought now is the time. I knew he'd want to take off because he loves a forward canter, and sure enough we had a little hand gallop before settling into a working canter. I kept it fairly short and it was great. I'm sure he'd be fine if I let him go, and if I was younger and braver I probably would have. I can't help but be a little nervous about just letting him go though. I want to make sure he's responding to me before I let him go all out. When I got Dan (my Appaloosa) he was only five and I let him break into a gallop on the beach (this is when I was newly back to riding after 30 years) and he bucked me off. This was before I discovered he had a broken tooth with a bare nerve, but I'm still nervous about just letting a green horse decide to gallop in an open area. I guess that's probably a good thing.
On the way home home Rogo spotted some cows on top of the bank looking down at him and he FREAKED. This was a first for him. He ran backwards onto the mud flats; not good. If you've read my blog long you know he isn't typically a spooky horse, but he doesn't like environments he's used to to change. It got so bad I dismounted and led him until he couldn't see the cows and then got back on and rode home. I've had him back once, but only part way past the area where the cows were. He didn't try to stop, but I'm going to take it slow. It would be ideal if we could go with Savanah, but with Doug not able to ride that isn't happening.
Speaking of Doug, he's been to a natureopath and is on supplements to help his arthritis, so we're hoping for some improvement.
Recently a friend, Jennifer, came to ride Savanah and she took her over some jumps. Savanah hasn't jumped in years, but was jumped before we bought her. She seemed to really enjoy herself, pulling to head for the jump as Jennifer circled at one end. They both did great and I hope there's a repeat. I'll have to get some pictures.
This is getting long and I have more updates, so will have to get back to posting more frequently.
Sorry I haven't been commenting much. I'm reading when I can.Thanks for all of the feedback on my last post. It seemed to be a popular topic (speaking dressage) and I got some really funny comments and great ideas for a dictionary :)