Sunday, 14 October 2007

Bendy Pony

I think the relaxed hack yesterday did Echo some good, as today I rode her in the outdoor school and she was fantastic. She was soft in her contact and felt lovely and forward in trot. I am working on her downward transitions again, this time with a new tactic. I now ask for the transition from sitting trot, and if she doesn't stay round and soft, I make her keep on trotting. She is learning quite quickly that I won't let her walk until she is soft. This way it also prevents me from really hauling on her mouth to keep her in an outline, but gets me to use my legs and push her on until she's round. My contact stays soft and consistent throghout. It seems to be working well so far.

The leg-yielding is coming on reasonably well, although better on the left rein than the right. This is because she naturally falls in on her right shoulder on the right rein, therefore finds it hard to shift her momentum across to the left. Although the leg-yield itself is tricky, once I have done it a couple of times, she is then lovely and bendy round my right leg. We are also getting better at changing the bend, although this is obviously better from right to left than left to right.

In the end, I only rode her for about 20 minutes in the school - I dodn't feel that she needed to do any more. We then went for a little hack on our own round the cross country course. We had a trot and a canter, which was the first time she has done so on her own out hacking. She was very good, although she is not very forward going when out on her own. I think I need to do a little more of this, as well as keeping up the hacking out in company. I'm not really sure how to encourage her to be more forward when out on her own. Trotting helped a little today, although she was slightly tricky to get into trot - she just didn't want to move out of a walk! In the school and in company she is quite sharp, but she becomes very dead off my leg when we are out alone.

She will have a day off tomorrow and then we will try to keep things varied next week. Her schooling is actually improving now that we are doing less of it!

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Daily adventures while training my young horse.