Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trot Pole Trials

After a crappy start to a weekend (a load of hay that ended up being wet,moldy) things started to turn around.
Saturday I put the spurs on and made Comrade work on his lateral movements. I got lots of Cob grunts, but he did the task. Without the stress of a new instructor, I was able to find my timing. He eventually needed less of the step to the outside portion of the process. I ended by coming down the center of the ring, leg yielding to the fence and turning to a vertical on the short end. Not only did he jump well to the left, he jumped well to the right and stayed out after the fence too. It goes to show how far eyes on the ground can help.

Sunday I was determined to get Peggy into the saddle. I told her to show me what she learned. The two verticals I had been jumping, were lowered to ground poles for her to use. Right away I noticed her bury her hands, which in Comrade's mind  means she is not ready to work. I told her to carry her hands. Her hands raised and the change in him was amazing. They worked on trotting straight over the poles and not cutting corners. Once she had her lines, she moved into canter for the same exercise. At left lead canter he cut the corner before the pole on the short end causing him to break over the pole. I showed Peggy the 3ft difference between where her trot lines were and her canter ones. The visual aids help her a lot. To the left the dogs decided to act as corner cutting deterers. They laid like jump standards about a stride out of the pole. The first time Peggy made the turn then stopped. I told her to keep going and use the line they provide. The next time she made the pole with a great stride. Something as simple as a single pole can do so much.

Then at my barn I rode DaVinci and Rosemary. DaVinci was protesting being asked to ride and maintain a firmer contact than he has had to in years. Bobby worked with him and Mom eariler in the week. Eventually, grudgingly he remembered that I was not torturing him and went to work. Mom had set up some alternating raised trot poles, so I pointed him at them and said figure it out. Well his answer was to go really fast through them and jump the last one, then take off cantering. He has not done much with poles. A few more exciting times finally led to him breathing and waiting. Yes DaVinci you can survive pole work. Rosemary was in go go mode, but she was also working well surprisingly. I made her keep her canter for a longer period and go through the long grass. Still need to work on picking up the lead I want, but not too bad. I showed her the poles, to which she said "Let's go around." Ah no. Once I got her straight, she was very handy. DaVinci had moved some of the poles causing the distances to differ. She adjusted well and just thought it out. Good Pony.

Monday was really warm. Mom rode DaVinci, my sister rode Dottie and I was on Rosemary. I was pleased with how supple Rosemary felt for the second ride. I did a few serpentine and used the poles to get her stepping out. She handled the poles even better this time. My sister got a kick out of her high stepping. I told her to take Dottie over the poles. As long as Dottie was straight, she would go right through. My sister was a little nervous since she has never done poles before. Her first time she trotted two poles before Dottie walked and messed up the poles. I hopped off and reset the poles. While I did that, she rode over a single pole. Then she lined up Dottie for the multi line, asked for more trot and got into a two point. Bless Dottie she went right through, really reaching nicely. Both enjoyed themselves immensely. On a whim, Mom put DaVinci through. He was so much better, if a bit up. I love seeing the horses meet the challenge of raised trot poles.

DaVinci attempt

Dottie owning it

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