Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Skipping the show was a good idea...

So the weather changed entirely, and the show grounds were probably perfectly dry, but I caught another cold bug and couldn't put any prep time in. We stuck with our plans to get some riding time in at the big arena on Saturday, which was a much better idea. We were able to really work on just going forward and letting him relax into the gait a little bit. So we got some big trots in, and I took advantage of the big dry arena to try the canter again after 3 months! He was fine with cantering, but very silly about a ton of other things.

We started with lunging (of course) and just as we got started at big family with toddlers on bikes, and a baby in a big red wagon come up from the trails on the opposite side of the arena. So of course it takes them ages to make it all the way around the arena, past us, and finally out of sight! Bear wasn't being naughty, but he definitely did his best impression of an arab while trotting around! His head was sky high, his tiny ineffectual tail was sticking straight out behind him, and he was prancing as much as possible while still trotting on like I asked.

We were sharing the arena with another rider who had a horse and a dog tied up at my end. Bear could care less about it all until the dog woke up and sat up! Then it became an issue! So after a few spins and balks, we made it a point to pass and circle back until it got boring. Another rider came so I did get to share the arena with 3 other horses, which I adequately avoided even though he wanted to go check them out each time we got within 30 feet! Still a good thing I wasn't trying to dodge 20 other horses at a schooling show. We still have some work to do about rating his gait, since I spent most of the time focusing on just going forward, and transitioning back down. We even tried a canter depart from the walk at the end and he surprised me by getting it with only a half trot stride! He's going to be so much fun when he's finished!

Overall it was a good day, but I am not sure that he likes the bit I switched him to. I first started him in a loose ring snaffle (the western style with the big flattish rings) and I had switched him to an English headstall when I started back into the dressage saddle and I have a D-ring with a french link snaffle mouth piece. He doesn't seem to be following his nose as well as he was, so I'm not sure that he like the pressure on the opposite side of his mouth. Its supposed to help, and if its not, then why use it? I'm going to be digging out a standard dressage loose ring snaffle tonight, so we'll see if its better or not.

My mom came out and rode around on the old mare (who was in an epically cantankerous mood when they started!) and as requested mom spent quite a bit of the time just videoing me and Bear go around. She's TERRIBLE at it! So none of it is worth posting unless I can figure out how to edit out the parts where she forgets to stop recoding and everything goes sideways as the camera swings at the end of the cord! It was very useful for me to see though. She stopped recording right as he spooked so it catches just the beginning but missed the recovery which was a shame since I would have liked to really look at my reaction. But she did catch my canter depart from the walk which was nice to evaluate.

Sadly I was conked out with the cold again on Sunday because I over did it on Saturday, ugh! I'm hoping to get back to regular work with him over the next two weeks, since the next show that was on the goal list is March 22. Lots of work before then!

1 comment:

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a good call, He is progressing nicely form the sounds of it ,but a few more rides esp around other riders will surely help