The little man stepped it up and was awesome for our grid night outing and our show outing (and I handwalked him down the road the other day), so I figured it's time to put our big kid pants on and ride in a clinic. On cross country.
Ok, maybe that was ambitious.
Regardless, since we don't want to get embarrassed out there, Redheadlins and I are buckling down and making sure our horses can at least jump cross rails before we show up. I was going to have her ride him and do some other stuff this week, but she's short on time and I'm having too much fun.
|Rock that baucher!!|
Plus I love how he looks in a figure eight anyways. Also a legit XC thing.
|It's almost a tail|
After a nice warmup (in which I didn't ask for anything, oops), we started out working on contact at the walk and trot. I kept him mostly on a circle. Instead of giving in to my desire to just sit around and have a fun ride, I focused on putting him into the contact every time he decided to be a giraffe and then (important) giving EVERY TIME he decided to soften.
Make it obvious. Keep things black and white. He wants to do the right thing, so let him. (Thank you, Lins for pointing that out).
|Love this canter|
When we moved up into the canter, I quit worrying about the contact. I have elbow issues I need to work through and he needs a break. Plus, we are prepping for a CLINIC! Thus, we worked on some forward and back at the canter. I asked him to shorten until he ...almost... broke to trot, then cantered forward down the long side before collecting again.
I tried to stay mostly out of the saddle and go forward from my leg. It was our first attempt, so there wasn't as much difference between the shorter and longer canter as I would prefer, but he seemed to be getting the idea.
This is where I realized that I had completely squandered my warmup. Instead of meandering and chatting, I need to actively use that time to move him off my legs and get him on the aids. He's not opposed to jumping--he just needs to understand what the desired outcome is.
|No one cares about flowers now|
|balance in the corner|
To help him, I shortened my reins and was consistent. I let him come in slower with his head up like a giraffe, because that meant he was balanced and looking. My reins were consistent, so if he fell forward, I caught him, but otherwise he just had to hold to the rhythm.
|An actual jump!|
I realize this is one of those long rambling posts that goes on forever and probably no one reads, but 1) I want to keep track of our progress and 2) I threw in lots of cute pictures, so it can't be that bad, right?
Another ride tomorrow, and then we have to pick out clinic outfits. How exciting!