Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Unfortunately Jetta won't get ridden today as I'm on my way home for Thanksgiving. I just wanted to give a brief update on her training.

This past week we've mainly been doing cavaletti and trot pole work as well as working on our trot - canter transitions. Jetta's been doing great with the trot poles, really extending her stride and lifting and rounding her back. The cavaletti aren't going as well... She doesn't get it. Right now I have them at 8" high as that's the lowest they will go without being on the ground. I started out with doing one cavaletti, then going to two and then three. One cavaletti goes ok, though sometimes she has to add an extra step and then awkwardly hop over the cavaletti, but mostly she's been doing ok. Then comes the second cavaletti. She just plows through it. Sigh. I've played around with spacing and it seems to improve when she has a really long stride, but only about half the time. Three cavalettis is just a disaster with poles flying every which way.

After getting a little frustrated with this, I decided to see how she'd do over a larger jump, if she would actually pick up her feet. I just set up a couple barrels with the poles and had Jetta free jump them. After some rearranging so she would actually go over the jump and not just around it she did awesome. I was expecting that the first time she jumped that she wouldn't pick up her feet enough, but she didn't even touch it. I think the jump measured about 3'6".

Overall, I was very impressed with her performance, even though I think I did more running than she did! I guess we'll just keep working with the cavalettis every so often to see if she improves.

Canter transitions are going ok. They definitely need a lot more work. Lately she's been ignoring my cue to canter a little, instead trotting really fast and then reluctantly going into the canter. So I've gotten a little more demanding that she depart as soon as I ask, but then this tends to result in a very fast canter. Its ended up turning into a lot of canter circles, but she is getting better.

ML rode her twice over the weekend when I wasn't there. She had been wanting to ride her for a while so I gave her the go-ahead. I was so nervous that Jetta would be really bad! Of course I know that ML is a fantastic rider and I would never let her on Jetta if she wasn't, but Jetta can be such a dork. She's never had anyone else ride her and I could just see her being a brat and cantering really fast then losing her balance and falling. Luckily, ML reported that she was a lot of fun to ride and she didn't pull too many naughty moves.

I switched horses with ML on Sunday and it was funny how used to riding Jetta I had gotten. Katy was super lazy and felt short strided compared to Jetta. It was interesting, but I do miss riding reliable Katy!

Here is my to-do list of things to work on: more trot poles, introduce a little jump under saddle, work on leg yeild, possibly some shoulder-ins, work on both up- and down-ward canter transitions, and go on another trail ride! (This time with a saddle though)

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