Monday, September 12, 2011

09-10 Early Again

Sweetness on Sir Harley. Longe was short, less than 15 minutes, and he started turning in and taking a few steps towards me, "Mom, let's go already! Get up here!"

Ride was nice. One blown lead, and it was mid-canter work left. We made a nice turn, he forgot to pick his front feet up, stumbled BIG, and squirted up into the right lead as he came out of his big stumble. Slowed to trot, and he self-corrected. As soon as I sat deep and added leg (without a verbal kiss), he went back into the left lead and relaxed. Canter right has gotten a little lazy, so I rode that longer than left.

Trot work is improving considerably. He still doesn't understand "collect/half halt in the corners", and will instead brace against the turn, and hollow out his back. On the straight lines, and in a big circle, things are really improving.

Free walk is gaining ground as well. I'm opening up the ride on light contact, encouraging him to stretch down. Every walk "break" now is a working walk / free walk. Not until all the way at the end of the ride do I drop the reins completely and take my legs off. Now, he works at even the walk. As a result, he's starting to reach down into contact more willingly, looking for any kind of a break he can get.

Romeo and I meandered down the dirt road, weaved in and around trees a few houses down (on some cleared grassy area), then towards the mailboxes as far as two houses up. About a half hour, nothing but a walk. He wasn't even sweating when we got home. "Mo, if you want to stay fit, we'll need to do more than that in the future." I believe I heard him reply, "Fit? Show me the cookies, lady!"

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