Thursday, April 27, 2017


Since Cupid and I are maturing in our development, with less new revelations, I think recapping several lessons/rides will work best to capture our training. 

Friday - Flatwork, working in several elements from our dressage test.  There was a 2 person lesson in the arena, so I stayed at one end of the arena, close to the size of a short dressage court.  I practiced straight lines and 20 meter circles, and centerline turns and halts.

Saturday - We had a lesson in a slightly busy arena.  First there was a slightly exuberant horse jumping, then a group of beginner riders.  Cupid was a little distracted and quick, but I tried to keep my body relaxed and my posting slow.  We worked on square turns, and going to the right I think it went better at the canter than the trot!

Sunday - Day off.  I gave Cupid a good grooming and did some tack cleaning. 

Monday - Rode in outdoor.  It was very foggy, and the dressage boards and letters up for the first time since last fall, but Cupid was not distracted.  The footing felt great!  We practiced our circles, trying to make sure we only touch the rail not follow it.  Did a little leg yielding and shoulder fore.  Cupid was very good and felt great!  But I did feel like my leg was flapping around a little, I was in the flatter dressage saddle.  We cooled off by walking around the property.  Cupid stopped in front of a mat on the ground and snorted at it, which was unusual because he's never had a problem walking over them before.  But I nudged him on and he walked over it without further ado and was good over the rest of them.

Tuesday - Lesson, flatwork.  My trainer had me put my whip behind my back and through my elbows, that was very weird!  I felt like I had t-rex arms.  We worked on transitions between walk and trot, and trot and canter.  My legs didn't feel like they were flapping this time, but I was having more trouble keeping my heels down.  As evidenced by me losing a stirrup cantering on a circle. :/  Still have some work to do in that area.

Wednesday - My trainer rode Cupid.  She said she rode in the afternoon, and Cupid was pretty good about not getting distracted but did whinny once or twice.  She jumped him over a little crossrail a few times, then went up to a vertical.  Cupid knocked the vertical the first time, then started jumping really big, and getting a little excited.  They went back down to the crossrail until Cupid relaxed again.  Also did some halts after jumps.  My trainer said Cupid's balance felt improved. 

Thursday - Lesson, and Cupid was having one of those days when he is just looking for excuses to spook at things!  Nothing major, just a jump sideways here and there at things he normally wouldn't react to.  As long as he's not getting quick I don't really get tense.  After we warmed up, my trainer took down a grid, so we just had a crossrail at the first element and three sets of standards afterwards.  We were to go through and halt.  The first time Cupid did a little spook after the jump, perhaps because of the disassembled jump on the side, but the halt was good.  We went through a few more times, than added a pole one stride from the jump.  Then the pole became a second crossrail.  We kept going through and halting after, but had some issues staying straight.  Sometimes the whole line was a bit bent, other times we were straighter coming through the grid but got crooked halting.  My trainer said I wasn't keeping my leg on and that's why Cupid got crooked when I ask for a halt. Then we added a pole at the 4th standard, which was 4 strides from the second crossrail (perhaps intended as a big 3).  I tried to make sure to sit up after the jump, and we got the 4 strides smoothly.  Then we made the final element a crossrail, with the halt after.  It was hard to halt before the rail after the last jump, we got right up to the mirror a few times!  My trainer asked me to halt after the 2nd jump, before the 3rd and that was kind of a disaster where I ended up pulling Cupid up next to the jump in a panicked moment when I wasn't sure if we were going to halt, jump over, or crash through.  So she changed it to a ground pole and gave me a few extra feet.  It was still hard, I could not do it straight.  But it did get Cupid listening to me on landing, and not rushing though.  We put the last jump back up and went through a few more times, and ended with Cupid going through very relaxed and halting after.

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