Saturday, May 21, 2011

First run through the dressage test.

After I chucked Robert out on the grass in the holding area, I measured out the official small arena. It looks wide. Like, more wide than long. But I used my measuring rolly-outy tape wheel thing and got it spot on so theoretically it's right.

I did a quick w/t/c both ways warm up with Red, then stood there and read the test out loud while pointing out where I needed to do what. I have done one real dressage test with Red before about five years ago, so I needed a serious refreshing. Red, on the other hand, was obviously listening better than I was because he trotted down the center line and away he went on his merry little way like he had the test in front of him. Have at it, old chap! The first run through went ok; it went like a first run through. I got confused at one point, but corrected myself before I went all the way through with the movement. Red was anticipating each movement right before we did it which I find kind of annoying. Yes, I KNOW we're going to canter next, but you wait until I tell you to!

The second time, he didn't want to pick up the canter from the trot. At all. So I had to do several small trot circles back to where we were supposed to depart, and after a rather hard smack across the rumpus, he finally picked it up. A little sticky halting at the X, but it was more him trying to square himself up than continuing walking.

The third and final time, he didn't want to pick up the canter from the trot from the left, but only one circle fixed that this time. Same to the right. His downward canter to trot transition to the right was also a little sloppy. Halt at X was good.

After that, I did a few trot to canter and canter to trot transitions just around the arena. I definitely realized what I needed to do to make the downward transitions better, and he was doing the upward ones much better by the end, too. Things we need to work on: 1) Real circles. I didnt put the letters up, but I think once I do I'll be able to get them more round. 2) Upward c-t transitions. They need to be sharper. 3) Downward c-t transitions. They need to be more collected.

He was pretty low energy and has been for the past few rides. I slowly upped his grain so that by the end of this upcoming week, he'll be on 10lbs of Safe Choice a day. Hopefully that does the trick. He might have to start sharing some of Bobby's alfalfa cubes.

I'll try to get Hubby out to video the test tomorrow. Or we might just go for a trail ride, depending on how many ticks we feel like pulling off ourselves and the horses.

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