I haven't been getting in as many lessons and rides as I'd like. Only two last week :( Developing our new facility is taking a LOT of time and energy.
Maybe it's good for Rogo, because the rides we do have are going well. I'm superstitious so I can't help thinking I've doomed us by writing that. Oh well, here's a bit of an update.
We've struggled with leg yield but haven't worked at it consistently. It's kind of embarrassing because other people seem to get it so easily. Lately we have worked at it steadily, and it's really coming along, to the extent our teacher had us doing canter leg yields for the first time yesterday. Rogo broke a few times, especially at first, but by the end of the exercise he was doing some of them quite nicely - really engaging his hind quarters and filling up the outside rein as he moved laterally. Yeah Rogo!
We've also been doing an exercise that entails doing three 10 m canter circles down the long side, progressing around the ring. They're often more like 11 m, but he does them quite well and will stay at it, working hard. My challenge is to keep him 'straight' on these circles - steering with my inside leg into my outside rein and not letting the outside shoulder pop out.
Another new exercise we've added lately is walking travers. Rogo took to this much more readily than leg yield. I suspect I aid it better, but I don't know why. He does it fairly well most of the time, and sometimes it really flows along beautifully for a short distance in a nice forward and balanced rhythm. He'll even break into a trot and trot it well at times. Of course this needs a lot of work to do it well consistently, but it's starting out in a fun way.
The last new exercise we've added is a three loop canter serpentine, with a simple trot change at the center line. Rogo aced it the first time - perfect shaped serpentines and perfect changes with only two or three trot steps.
Now, just so I don't lead you to believe we`re closing in on level 2, we sure aren't. I've yet to do a leg yield in a test. None of the above are confirmed / consistent. We still need to solidify many aspects of level one. It's fun to try new things and move the bar a little though. We spent sooo many months struggling with just getting a basic canter that it's wonderful to be able to add some new things.
Looking at the above exercises, I see that our teacher is doing a lot of inside leg to outside rein. This makes sense to me. We need to develop more ability and sensitivity in that area.
One last piece of news. I'm bringing Rogo home for August and September! Yeah! It's been wonderful to spend the last few months in lessons and it was essential if we were going to get anywhere (I couldn't do it myself), but I can't wait until I can look out the window and see him in the backyard. Also, with the road construction that's going on it takes a four hour round trip drive to ride, which is exhausting, especially when I'm also working so hard on the building project. I'm looking forward to getting him out on some hacks at home and just having him close.


It's so exciting to hear about your new facility taking shape. I imagine a project of that size could occupy every waking moment...

Keeping Rogo at your training barn was obviously good for you both - long commute aside. You've made great, steady progress, and it sounds like Rogo has matured.

How fun it will be to have him home again. I see beach rides in your future!
Oak Creek Ranch said…
I echo the comments above by CFS. You have made so much progress with Rogo. Having him at the barn with a trainer for regular lessons has been wonderful for both of you. Those of us slogging away at home are envious (in a supportive way of course)!
Lori Skoog said…
I'd like to hear more about the work you are doing at your place.
Having Rogo home will be terrific.
Kelly said…
Wow - you and Rogo are making great progress! It is encouraging to read how far you two have come in such a short period of time.
It sounds like your new facility is coming along. Pictures? I'm sure it's a lot of work.

You and he did lots of good training work at the barn. On the other hand I'm sure Rogo will like being home as much as you will enjoy having him there. The commute sounds exhausting.
TeresaA said…
good for you Carol!! Congrats!
Nice work!

I find that the work jumps around quite a bit when you're training a horse from scratch. You may struggle with one exercise, but be able to do exercises from one or two levels above that with no problem. Every horse has skills and weaknesses, just like people.

I really like that 10m canter circle exercise. I'll be trying it next time I ride!
Its the details of our lives I think that in some respects make the impact.