Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tale of Twos

I've come across a few interesting dichotomies my last few rides.  I had one ride where Cupid was being a little lazy.  Our walk to trot transitions were not very good, it took about 6 steps.  But he went back down to a walk right away.  Then a day later he was much more energized, and our walk to trot was pretty good but I was having a hard time getting back down to the walk.  I know I'm a big part of the problem; if he is being quick I pinch with my knees and thighs and then I can't really sit deep in the saddle to ask him to transition down.  And when he's lazy I just nag him with little nudges instead of asking more firmly once.  But I especially need to work on relaxing when he is more keyed up, because that's the version I'm going to get at a show!

Then I have two dressage saddles I'm trying.  With the first one it seems to put my upper body in a better position, and helps me not lean forward as much.  Which is great!  But the other one has knee blocks and helps my lower leg stretch down.  I think this was the first time my trainer ever told me I don't have to push my heels down quite so much!  But in this saddle my upper body was not as good. 

Today in our lesson we jumped for the first time in almost two months.  Just a tiny crossrail.  We started with poles on the ground, which I did in my ride yesterday as well to make sure Cupid didn't think it was too exciting.  When my trainer was setting up the crossrail she commented that Cupid's ears were perked, and he seemed to know what was coming and was happy about it.

We just did the one crossrail on a large circle; coming in at the trot, landing at the canter, then coming back to a trot before the fence.  We started off going to the right, and it was going well.  We had one where Cupid jumped it kind of long, then landed cross cantering.  I did a trot change to get him cantering correctly and we came around to do it again, and it was another long spot.  My trainer then noticed that the pole in front of the jump had rolled forward, and Cupid was just trying to figure out how to maneuver it without hitting the pole.  So she adjusted the pole back to the correct spot and we had two very nice jumps.

Then we switched directions and it wasn't quite so smooth.  Cupid got a little quick; I think I was worried about getting the left lead, plus we were going towards the gate, and it was a bit tighter turn so I think all that make me more anxious and lean forward.  So my trainer had me circle before the jump and make sure he was bent coming into the jump.  She said that when I was coming in on the right I was smiling, and on the left I just looked anxious.  So something for me to work on, being more relaxed.

I was very happy with Cupid, how good and relaxed he was after not jumping for so long.  (Even though the jump was tiny!)  He was also very cute when we were starting out we trotted over the poles, then picked up the canter halfway around the circle before coming back to a trot.  After doing it twice he figured out the exercise and I barely had to ask him for him to canter.  He was smart enough to figure it out, but still was listening and not trying to take over.
No new pictures so an outtake from his stir crazy stall rest days

Being weird and eating bark off the tree - is this bad for him?

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