Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's a good thing Red can jump.

Yesterday started off just as poorly as the day before. I ended up in tears again after trying relentlessly to get the right lead. I finally gave up after ten minutes of trying to get the canter from the walk and the trot from anywhere in the arena. He wouldn't have it. Instead, I had Hubby do jump patrol. Unfortunately, my camera sat in the truck and I was too nice to make Hubby hike back down to get it. I worked Red over the jumps mostly to the right, using the double stacked tires to get him to change his lead to the correct one. He got it without fail each time after, without fail, picking up the left each time at the depart. Whatever. We did a big cross rail, a picket fence (2'3), and a vertical that went up a hole each time I went over until it was 3'. We jumped that twice, rolled the rail out of the cups when I put him in a really awkward spot and he chipped in a stride and touched it with his back hooves, then jumped it one last time to finish on a good not. A really good note, in fact.

Today, I drove myself to the barn at noon with borrowed money from the account that wasn't really there even though it said it was. I did a little massage (back and hips), tail pulls, and some releases (TMJ and myofacial tongue pulls) before I tacked the beast up.

"what are you doing back there?"
I put side reins on him and put him on the longe to the right only. For fifteen minutes, we worked on transition after transition. Only half to one circle per gait, going from walk to trot to canter to walk to canter to trot to halt, and so on.

I finally got on, did several walk to trot and trot to walk transistions, then asked for the canter. He got it wrong the first time, but got it right the second time. The trick was--though obviously not the entire factor here of course--I asked him verbally for every transistion. I decided to take the plunge and run through our dressage test.

He did it really well. He was really sharp in the changes of directions, his energy was great without being crazy, aaaand.....he picked up the right lead the second time! That's waaay better than eight tries later, or not at all. The only gripe is that he was a little tense and expecting me to fight him.

BO also found me a saddle to use until I can buy my own. Out of fourteen english saddles she owns, five we tried on and one fit both of us. It's an older Stubben which just so happens to be the first saddle I ever owned. I love them, but I forgot how hard the seats are on them! I'll try it out tomorrow. Hopefully it works some magic!

I also got my Ecogold halp pad today!!!! You can jump up and down on this thing and it wouldn't even notice. Swoon.

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