Saturday, June 20, 2015

Baths, Clinics and Exercises Oh My!

So next weekend we have our first clinic! Our first OVERNIGHT two day clinic at my trainers. We'll be doing dressage and show jumping work. Two rides on Saturday and one on Sunday. So we're prepping and I'm taking notes of what we need to work on and things to ask.

We had our first big bath of the season. He's still panicky but we're getting better, much quicker to come back and much higher toleration of his fear of the hose. It still needs a lot of work but we're getting there.

I think his hind is permanently stained sometimes!
We're slowly getting back into shape, he jumped 2'3 red vertical from a really tight turn (he hesitated but went over) so I'm happy about that as it's approximately where we left off last year with his ability to turn.

We've come a long way with laterals and turning on the hind. He still pitches a fit on occasion, and doesn't entirely trust when we are near walls or barrels, but he doesn't run off when I reach down his shoulder anymore so progress there.

He still doesn't quite pick up right lead canter on cue if we're not in the ring. I'm still working out if it's based on his confusing of my aids, or if he just super prefers his left lead and is being obstinate. Something to work on at the clinic I think.

Beyond that we're just working on rhythm, response to aids and turning.

He still at times really want to take over for me, so we're working on a balance of "Okay I'm in charge.... okay now you make decisions (such as getting us over fences, etc)". It's a matter of building more trust with him I think. He's an extremely guarded horse, and it's taken two years to get this far, but we've come a really really long way.  I've become an active rider and he's learning to trust his rider.