I really have been riding. A lot, in fact. Taking some afternoons off from work, and riding two in an evening.
Boss and I are getting along well. There's much to learn, as some days, things seem to click really well. Other days, I have trouble making circles and corners. Were it not for the arena rail, he'd probably wander aimlessly when I can't find his bend. I'm learning I have to ride Boss very focused, and very centered, mentally and physically. The slightest "relax" on my part, and he'll break gait to a lazy walk.
Harley and I are going to squeeze a ride in today, and then we're off. Series Championships are Sunday, and we're travelling there tomorrow for schooling tomorrow evening. Scheduling didn't go easy, and I had to contact the show staff to discover my registration entry was lost. I had to contact them a second time today to receive ride times. The copy I received today shows slim competition for Intro "B" at Adult Amateur level. I can understand the economy isn't great, and Christmas shopping preceeds show dreams. It still seems odd there are very few AAs competing at the championships.
I will do a better job of blogging to capture tomorrow and Sunday, for sure. It's a new place for Harley, a big place. We'll be warming up and showing over FOUR different covered arenas and one outdoor arena. Absolutely huge facility, and that's even with some of the showgrounds "off limits" to us. He'll have a LOT to take in and get adjusted to.
His trot is fantastic.
His walk , well , I just wish it were bigger. ..
Free walk? When he's paying attention, it's beautiful.
I am slowly introducing canter with collection. I start with canter barely on contact. Then, I gently shorten my reins a little directly after he's in the gait. Down the long sides, I'm pushing with legs/seat, and shortening my reins a bit more. Relax on the short sides, repeat down a long side. I had a few strides on each lead collected down long sides. Harley's learning this much like he did in the trot - finding that balance point between "collection nicely" and "hanging on the forehand". Hanging on the bit usually makes him trip within a stride or two, again, much like the trot work. We'll get there, and thankfully, we don't need it in the show on Sunday.