Roscoe was not wanting to work on contact during one of my rides. So Peggy and I headed out to the trail. Out of habit we started pointing the boys over the small jumps. Comrade acted like they were 2ft jumps. While Roscoe just trotted over them. I decided to see if he would give me more. At one of the 12in branch pile jumps I gave him an extra squeeze. He very quietly lifted in the front and jumped over. I was so happy that he felt as great jumping as he looks on the ground. We played over the jump a few more times. He gave me one really well executed jump and then went back to trotting over them. My future event pony is starting to develop.
|Two fine Welsh|
Our next ride I worked on his canter. This was my first time asking for canter in the dressage saddle, but he was awesome. When we cantered previously, he preferred the right lead.
|OOPS Wrong lead|
This time he seemed to have lost his right lead. He went so far as to counter canter even around the turns. Eventually I was able to get him to find the lead.
|Ah, Right lead :)|
Once he had it, it felt as good as his left lead.
Even though it has been awhile since we played with canter, he was able to carry it longer and straighter. It gets easier to ask him for more and not worry about messing up his development with my lack of previous experience. Maybe he will be far enough along to give Jen from CobJockey fun rides when he goes to Indiana. On the other hand, what will I do without my baby?
|Mare in the Mist|
Well I guess I can focus on his mother. Rosemary seemed uncomfortable initially after her chiropractic visit. Recently though, she is a different pony. She is moving well and happy to work. I have been trying her in different bits to see which she prefers. One ride she went in Comrade's loose ring three piece snaffle. Peggy rode her and she was reaching into the contact. A great sign. Then on trail my pony who likes to go around jumps, actually gave Peggy a sweet little jump over a wood pile. The surprises kept coming over my next two rides. I put DaVinci's Myler comfort barrel snaffle on her. This bit seemed to help lift up her front end since she tends to be a bit heavy.
|Slow the steps, activate the brain|
Her trot work was better and she was willing to listen when I slowed her down. I remembered my lesson with the Israeli visitors and could put some of the take aways into effect. As she slowed down, she could focus on figuring out her own body parts. I decided to attempt the canter. To the right, she was a little slow reacting so I tapped her with the whip. Rosemary bucked, but moved into canter. An absolutely awesome canter. Not only did she canter, she kept cantering for a few circuits around the arena. Then when we changed direction and I asked for the left lead, she picked it up within a couple trot strides. The transition was smooth. This direction she was crooked. She traveled with her haunches in. This gave her a bit more lift in the front. Even crooked she was willing to keep her canter around the arena. If you remember the challenges we faced during that lesson, you know this was a big deal.
I capped off my stretch of riding with a bareback ride in the mist on her. She felt so great and was starting to get some push from behind. We even did a short left lead canter. I decided not to attempt the right in case she did another dramatic transition.
|The best way to end a day|
It has been so much fun to see these guys making connections and enjoying the work.