Monday, January 27, 2014

1/25/14 Lesson

Highlights.. before I forget anything else. 

*We do have video.  R came along and captured most of the ride on the camera.  I had my GoPro, but I accidentally hit the power button instead of the "record" button.  Shucks.  But I have some clipping/editing/boring stuff removing work to do on it, and I'll probably merge some clips together for learning and educating.

*To make the trot to canter transition pretty, ask for a good bend first.  If he is awkward in the bend, and the trot is bad, or he lurches into the canter, immediately back to trot.  If the bend is nice, the canter transition will be nice.

*Harley cantered three poles on the circle, then the middle one was elevated.  Ask for a solid, steady, good canter coming into the poles, but don't force perfection just yet.  Middle elevated to about 9" tall - this we can sort of repeat at home using the rail razors.  *easier to ride him through the canter poles/cavaletti than to ask him on the line.  It sounded like BS until we did it, then repeated it at home Sunday.  Well danged if she wasn't totally right...*

*Rode the gymnastic again.  One cross rail, then a vertical added (about 18" tall), then eventually another one added two strides out from that.  Came at it from both directions - the ones with the vertical first were fairly ugly, but they got much better.

*Peaked the ride with crossrail, four strides of nothing (no x's, no ground poles, nothing), and a vertical at the end.  VERY awesome to jump the first X, then count to myself "1, 2, 3, 4",  and just KNOW that he was going to jump it.  From where I was, I could "feel" in the jump work when he was probably going to "go big", and I was doing better about letting him do just that.  I never once felt the "oh sh!t he's going to canter away bigger than I'm ready for", but instead, I almost thought he could've given me a bit more.  His strides felt teensy tiny, short, and squished.  :-)  It was cute.  Compact little powerhouse engine in his hiney.

*Upper body and hands were better - a good amount of "give".  Feel free to let the reins slip from my hands when it feels like I've been "left behind", so I don't smack Harley in the mouth on the landings.  Still work on getting those feet "out in front", toes up, and be in a safer more defensive body position.  I think I need to spend some time in 2-point where the camera sits stationary, watching the different positions, both the one I have, and where I need to be (or what I think is "correct"), then watch it afterwards to see the differences.

*Next lesson we plan on riding some of the jumps in the field, so we won't have the "prep ground pole", or the rhythm of repetitive jumps. Should be super fun.

*Wisdom "nugget" of the lesson. Every ride you are either training your horse, or un-training your horse. -- As I read other blogs that say "we've just been trail riding at the walk. I don't know why my "broke" horse isn't going "broke" anymore, but spooks a lot and does ___ or ___, and keeps doing ."

Back home on Sunday, I repeated the canter poles, on the ground (too lazy to hop off and elevate them), and he only had one ugly "blunder through", where he fell apart to trot in the middle.  Otherwise, he cantered them nicely both directions.  Quick learner.

I rode an X, what I thought was three strides, to another X.  It felt short.  Okay, it was worse than short.  It felt like two good solid strides, then an itty bitty one, then another jump that was awkward.  So I measured it out on foot after the ride.  OOps.  Lots of spreading / adjusting to do.

Each lesson gives us a bunch of different exercises to work on at home, and it's always more than I remember to repeat.  I am hoping I wrote them all out here, and maybe just maybe I can have enough of my ducks in a row this time to have more progress to show next time.   *Another wisdom nugget I remembered less than two minutes from writing this out ... The more different kinds of jumps and situations I expose Harley to while he's still young, the better.  Like humans, he's going to have more bravery the younger he is, and as he ages the less courageous he'll be to brand new things.  More explains all the variety in each lesson - we only ride a pattern 2-3 times and then it changes.  The jumps change, the sizes change, the direction changes, it's nothing for too awfully long.  This is slightly different than what I thought, but given his eagerness to 'get down the jump line', I can willingly go along with him.  Harley does like variety, that's for sure.*

Cold for the area tonight again, freezy stuff tomorrow likely.  We had frozen stuff (ICE!) last Friday, and I sure was glad I didn't have to go anywhere.  Ice on everything, even on Harley's blanket tail flap.  Brrr...

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