Monday, October 8, 2012

Making Progress

I love my horses! Both Tux and Jetta have been improving in leaps and bounds.

Yesterday I had a great ride on Tux. At the beach we were able to canter lots and lots with all that wide open space and not having to worry about staying within the boundaries of a small arena so by the end he was cantering right out when I gave the cue and not getting as tense and worried. We continued on the theme yesterday and cantered a bunch. He's much more relaxed so he doesn't get that odd "bunny hop" canter and I'm able to get him on the bit fairly well. Steering is still a little negotiable (corners? what corners?) but overall not bad. He picked up both his leads with a little coaxing. He needs extra help preventing his shoulder from falling out so that he can pick up the correct lead, but not bad for a baby. We also played on my neighbors itty bitty trail course. She has some little cavalettis, poles to walk over and back through and a tarp. Tux was so cute. He marched up to the tarp with his ears glued forward and head down, snorting at it. He didn't hesitate one bit but stomped on the tarp with one foot then started pawing at it with the other. No big deal. I think he kind of likes the sound it makes because whenever I walked him across it he'd stomp extra hard on it. I even trotted him over the little cavalettis. Our work with the leg yields is interesting... he does them fairly well in both directions but now we need to work on straightness. He's far too wiggly. It cracks me up seeing our tracks in the arena zig-zagging down the wall.

Today was another great ride on Jetta. It felt very productive. Jetta seemed fidgety in the cross ties so I thought she'd be hyper but was actually a little bit of the opposite. I brought out some poles to trot over and she was great, a lot of times she's lock her jaw and won't soften over the poles, but today she was soft and responsive. Down one long wall I'd ask her to do shoulders-in or haunches-in then on the other wall she'd trot over the poles. To the left she was great, but the right is definitely harder. We had to break the haunches-in down to the walk, but she's getting it. The walk-canter transitions are coming along. We got one perfect one today. It was actually a halt-canter after I was backing her up. It's much easier for her then because she's already got her weight off her shoulders and onto her haunches for the transition. Still needs more work there, especially in making it a prettier, less crabby transition, but it's coming. Same with the canter-halt transition. Coming along, but still needs work. Overall I was really pleased with her today. My measure of success in making Jetta work hard? She had sweat on her belly meaning she was using those abdominal muscles today! I made sure she got her apple today for all that hard work.

I think it may be time for a new fly mask...

I got to meet the other half of the barn owner pair today - RB. He's super nice and we chatted a bit. He came out while I was riding to feed the horses lunch. He commented that Jetta has such a nice personality - I'm so glad she's behaving! I worry about that because I know she can be a brat. In fact today she is in heat so there was a lot of ear pinning in our ride today, but no kicking so I did give her a little slack for that since I know she's feeling a little sore in her hind end right now. Afterwards when I was picking up poles he came and helped me put them away, thanking me because he said "I think you're the only one who actually puts them away". I don't mind though, it's a fairly small arena so it gets in the way.

Now let's hope this post doesn't jinx anything about these great rides I've been having...

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