Friday, January 15, 2016

Moving Forward

Cupid and I have started working with our new trainer, and even though I'll miss the previous one we were lucky to find someone with a similar philosophy, and who is both knowledgeable and patient.  Plus it is nice getting a fresh perspective.  She quickly identified the things we need to work on (with my position as well as getting Cupid more on the bit and forward), which are the same things my old trainer was focusing on. 

Our first two sessions were flatwork only, and being "forward" as well as transitions were the main focus (between as well as within gaits).  We did an exercise where we were trotting around the arena and before each corner I was so shorten Cupid's stride, then after the turn get his trot as big as possible until the next corner.  "As big as possible" is still not very big for us, but we are working on it, at least there is some sort of distinction.  We tried it at a canter too but it didn't go quite so well.  I think I need to get a little more quiet and correct in my seat first to get more effective at this.  We also worked a little on turn on forehand.

In our third session we started off with flatwork similar to what we've been doing.  Then our trainer put down a pole.  My job was to make sure Cupid was going forward and straight, and not cut the turn before or after.  We trotted through a few times.  Then she added a second pole, then a third, playing a little with Cupid's stride.  Cupid was being pretty careful and did a good job navigating the poles.  Then we did a little cross rail, still working on being forward and straight.  We trotted into the jump, and my trainer told me we should be cantering when we land; trotting out of the jump means Cupid is behind my leg.  I've always let him trot out if he wants (or canter if he wants as long as he's not rushing, which he hasn't in a long time), but if he landed trotting then I needed to ask for the canter. 

Cupid was sleepy after our lesson

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