Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Getting Back on Track

Today I cantered Cupid for the first time in about a month, and it felt great!  We started trotting last week, and Cupid had more energy than usual.  By that I mean he was moving nice and forward, not anything naughty.  We've been continuing building on our walk work, working on bending and counter bending at the trot, as well as shortening and lengthening the stride.  I still need to work on the same things - keeping my hands low and closed, elbows soft, legs long, seatbones under me, and shoulders back.  Sometimes I feel like I'm making progress but usually if I get better at one thing I get worst at something else!
Lunging with balancing reins

We started today with a quick lunge, to see how Cupid was moving.  He looked okay, so I got on.  He still gets a little bratty sometimes when I ask for a trot.  Before I even ask, as I'm gathering the reins and preparing he knows something is coming and gets really crooked and balky.  I am working on asking once with just a squeeze (no lifting my legs off his sides for a big pony kick!) and following up with the crop if he doesn't listen.  Then if he trots tell him he's good, and move on not making a big deal out of it.  Then we trot a few steps, go back to a walk and try again.  Usually I do about 3 transitions. 

We did a little trot work on a circle, me focusing on my hands and keeping him nice and round.  We had a few nice moments when I could feel him really use himself.  Then we cantered on the circle.  We did two sets each direction and it was very good - we got the leads correct each time, kept a decent circle, and Cupid didn't try dropping to a trot.

I'm very relieved Cupid seems to be healing.  Our trainer said we can probably start jumping in a few weeks if there are no setbacks.

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