I gave myself a very specific plan of action for these past three days to make sure no one got pissed off--myself or Bobby. Amazingly, things went swimmingly.
I started off longing Bobby in side reins to show him that I meant business. I worked him on the line for twenty minutes with lots of praise to show him that I also sometimes like him.
Then we went balls to the wall (such an eloquent phrase) on dressage work for the next forty minutes. Lots of mixing it up between walk and trot, and a couple of okay canters. For an outdoor dressage school, it was really friggin' amazing all around. Bobby was listening so well to my half halts and my leg that I didn't once get flustered with him. Olivia passed the arena to get Kidd and said, "Carly, you have a dressage pony!" Yay!
I'm attributing a great part of this success to a new bit recommended long ago by Aimee at I am the Sprinkler Bandit. It's a french link with a long flat middle piece. I settled on a plain egg butt during my epic bit search because I couldn't find one of these laying around, and then the other day I spotted Sarah's bridle with the bit attached. I made the appropriate grabby hands and she told me to try it out. Bobby was Foamy Face Magee and so happy in it. Definitely ordering one.
We finished by cantering over all the jumps from Sunday with all but the barrels lowered to 2'. I wanted easy fences so we could focus solely on distances. And guess what? He got a perfect distance to every single one from both directions. He had a big canter after all that dressage work and he just cruised right over them. Plan of attack for Sunday: lots of flat work for our jumping warm up.
I got to the barn a little early so after grooming Bobby and spraying Blue Kote on his latest chomp mark (even though he's been switched to a different field!), I went up to watch the end of the campers ride. It. Was. Hilarious. BO had them playing a game of tossing a water bottle to each other in a circle, and I couldn't help but giggle each time on of the poor schoolies got clocked with it. They earned their keep and their cookies by just standing there and taking it.
I gathered all the jumps and set the grid suggested by NSRider over at The Imperfect Perfect Horse with a minor tweak for arena size: 2' vertical, 1 stride, xrail bounce, 2 strides to a 2'3 oxer. This grid rode really, really well and Bobby killed it. I didn't have a single problem with it except for my very last time through which I got on video by coercing the girl riding with me to take it. Bobby took an awkward spot to the first fence because of the bad turn I made to it. But it wasn't a chest-the-jump short spot so I was okay with that and ended it there.
|look at pony face using his neck.|
now if i could just re-learn how to release....
|chillin' with bo's dog.|