A shout-out to R for keeping his word & being there for us Saturday early evening. I wouldn't have done some of that silly stuff without extra eyes. You kept us careful, and kept me motivated. I probably would have no only chickened out, but I probably would've cut that ride time in half.
Ransom and I warmed up free lunge a few, and I got straight to work. Cavalettis were set up for trot, poles up at canter distance. I made SURE they were 10ft apart, determined to have a few successful go's. His flat work was nice & soft, though those canter up transitions leave a little to be desired. muttermuttermutterheadtossinlittlefreakmuttermuttermutter
I happily trotted to the cavaletti, expecting him to be perfect. But he started getting lazy-toes, and had a few knock-downs. R and I set them back up, and I kept repeating until they were light & pretty again. I caught him trotting towards the right through the poles, and decided to concentrate on myself until I figured it out. The next go-through explained it. Without knowing it, I was ducking my head to the right. After a little laughter, I got it all straightened out, and the next run was completely straight & light. Ransom wants me to trot through the poles with my eyes up & out.. Top of the Trees... Must focus eyes eyes!!
The canter poles again were a train wreck. He continued his "break to trot, canter in & out" chaos. Nothing about them was pretty. So I changed my focus.
We set up one pole, two cavaletti stackers, or 8" off the ground. Heading left, and heading right, he did the exact same funny thing. Over OVER jump the first go, second one closer, third one, depart and land in trot. *giggle* He gets the "trick" and quickly gets a little lazy about it.
Concerned the canter pole distances were too close, I hopped down, tied back the reins, and free lunged him at canter. R and I adjusted poles at the rail, only two of 'em, and cantered him through. It took them being 12.5ft apart before Ransom didn't whack one or the other with his feet, and stay in canter to, through and from. How entirely frustrating!!! With them at the rail, we drug them towards centerline, set the trot cav's back up, and walked my pony home.
My tired, wore out pony.
And tired, wore out me!
The stoopid pesky canter poles still allude me... Why can't we get it?! What has changed?! Even R didn't see anything THAT obvious to cause him to break gait... I was running out of ideas.
I got almost two hours of riding in before the night was through.