Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter week recap

My trainer was gone at an event, so Cupid and I were on our own.

Thursday - I rode in the covered arena with one of the trial dressage saddles.  Our primary focus was on straight lines and square turns, including some square cloverleafs.  I also tried to sneak in plenty of transitions between gaits, including halts.  We did a little canter work, starting on the left.  I tried shortening a little on the short sides and pushing a bit down the long sides.  Also worked in a few 20 meter circles on the ends of the arena.  We cut through the middle of the arena for a trot change, but took more trot steps than ideal.  I probably should have redone it, but I didn't.  We did the same shortening/lengthening and circles to the left.

Friday - My knee was hurting because I took a clumsy fall off a curb, so we just did an easy hack around the property.  At the walk I tried changing from a long rein back to contact.  In the arena sometimes when I let him take a break and walk on a long rein, he sometimes gets a little cranky when I take the contact back up (ie. get ready to go back to work), but he was good outside. 

Saturday - Another hack day, but we trotted a few slopes and also did a few transitions between walk and trot.  There was a lot of activity going on around the property (including an ambulance and fire truck, hope everyone was okay), but Cupid was good.  A tractor was dragging one of the pastures causing the horses in the pasture to stampede, and Cupid got a little excited and wanted to go join them, but I kept him walking and he settled back down once they were out of sight.

Sunday - Happy Easter!  No riding today.  Got a text from the barn manager that Cupid came in from turnout with a scratch, but nothing serious.

Monday - Back to the ring, trying the other saddle.  I was a little short on time, we did about half an hour of walk trot.  This time we worked on bending, weaving around the jumps in the arena doing different size circles, loops, and changes of directions.  We had a few nice moments where I could feel Cupid reaching into the bridle!  We also did a little stretchy trot.

Tuesday - Flatwork lesson.  Continued working on my position, effective aids, and proper use of the outside rein.  Did trot and canter moving between working and medium gaits.  Then did a little lateral work; leg yielding and shoulder fores at the trot.  Early in the lesson, when I was getting ready pick up our first trot in warm up, Cupid sensed it and started getting a little crooked and balky so I reminded him with the whip to pay attention.  He was very good after that.  Much better than me having to nag him the whole time!  My trainer commented on how much my position has been improving.  She didn't notice until after the lesson that I was riding in the other saddle, the one we previously thought might tip me forward.  I still have a ways to go but the progress is encouraging!

I'm not sure which saddle I like more, they both feel pretty good to me.  I think the blocks do help me lengthen my leg, but I don't want to be too reliant on them!

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