I just really love puppies.
|mags was the only one being good which apparently makes her very sad.|
Anyway, I figured I probably ought to give the old stallion a spin before our lesson so as not to completely embarrass ourselves. We had trouble in our last lesson with not putting in enough warm up to get the best work, but I had plenty of time to let Bobby have a long walk and then stretch at the trot for a million laps on Sunday. Some days you can jump right on him and put him to work, but I think in either case he enjoys the slow mental warm up.
He was much better for Sunday's ride, and I got on half an hour before today's lesson to repeat our long warm up so we'd actually get some productive work during billing hours. That strategy was definitely the ticket and we were ready to be tortured by BM from the get-go.
BM started us right off in the canter since we were already warmed up. We'd worked a little on trying to get some collected canter last week, but Bobby wasn't quite up to the challenge in the amount of time we had. Today he was in it to win it.
BM has to break things down into kindergartner terms for me because while I know what she's talking about, and afterwards I'm able to get it sorted in my head, I have a hard time processing what she's asking me to do while I'm trying to do it unless it's spelled out into the absolute simplest words.
So my collected canter "aids" were: forward, catch, release.
Basically send him forward, catch the forward so it doesn't become an extension (a medium), and then release with my fingers so I'm not restricting. Channel him forward and upwards into the collection. Bobby caught on pretty quickly and soon he was so in tune to the game that if I gave him too strong of a half halt off my seat or didn't release it quickly enough he sat down and offered up a really lovely collected trot instead. Not what we were going for, but the responsiveness to every twitch of my body was fun.
|not featured in today's ride, but still exciting!|
To the right he was surprisingly just as strong and light so we ended with that pretty quickly as a reward. She told me to ride Bobby like he was Totilas--if I believed he was that fancy, Bobby would believe it, too. Whatever you say, BM. I'm just happy when we can make right turns without falling over.
We moved on to the collected walk after a nose-dragging stretchy trot break. We'd done a few turns on the haunches right at the beginning of the ride, so BM was using the collected walk to segway into a walk pirouette. Holy fuck, this was way harder than the canter work. Bobby doesn't have a great walk to start with. He was light in the bridle which is always nice, and he was bending around my leg really well and actually doing a good haunches in when we asked for it, but BM wanted his hind end more active.
She picked up a dressage whip and tapped him a couple times on the back legs on our circle. That got his attention and bro was like, "My butt doesn't come any further underneath me, I'm marching, bitches!" Once we got that, BM had me bring the haunches in on the circle and then boom, move the shoulders around her into the pirouette. We never really nailed it, but for the first time working on it he was pretty stellar.
|bobby says his butt is tired and he would like to|
go outside instead of participate in these shenanigans.
Back to the canter to work on moving between collection and extension. BM had us collect the canter on the circle and then go across the diagonal with a few strides of opening up into however big of a stride Bobby offered up before collecting again at the rail and either doing a simple or flying change. Bobby was on his shit. We've always sucked at opening up the canter, but he flowed right into it before coming back and popping a clean change both ways.
We finally finished with a little collected trot. Bobby actually finds this relatively easy (for where we are at our level of collected work) despite the fact that he's built like a fucking malformed moose, so BM challenged us to make the steps even smaller and more active. He was getting tired so we didn't have great success there, but I can try the exercise again another day.
Overall though? Dude is getting some legit buttons and some legit butt muscles. Taking the time to go back and let him do long and low for a few weeks did him a world of good. He feels like an educated horse. He's got a lot of learning left to do, but it was a really encouraging peek into what we need to work on for Third.
|look, i was just really excited about his first time|
in a double, okay? don't judge me.
Afterwards BM pulled out the double to let him get a feel for it. He needs a slightly smaller bridoon and possibly a new bit set up altogether, but since we were just letting him stand there and eat a million cookies, it worked fine. He'll get to wear it on the ground a couple more times before we take it to the ring for some walks. I've never ridden with a double before so I'm in no hurry to try it without serious adult supervision.
I hope I get to take him out next year to show, but in the more immediate future I hope he's tuned up enough to be a fun ride for Katlyn this Friday!