|Courage and Diva|
Courage unloaded like a champ, let me tack up, and then spent the next ten minutes or so posing dramatically in various places around the giant arena. He didn't spook at all, but he's the sort of horse that really likes to see everything.
Once I got on, we were put to wok doing some leg yield out on 20 m circles at the walk and trot. The goal was to get the hyped up greenies a bit disengaged (and less zoomy) while getting them focused on us. Because the arena is massive, we all got our own circle to work on.
|"Check out my flailing move, Diva."|
We got put back on our circle. I did some changes of direction to change his focus a little, and our instructor kept having me pat him with the outside (right) rein. We were able to put in two decent half circles at the canter without leaping, so we called that good enough.
Then we moved on to trotting a pattern of poles. There were a lot of poles in a row, which is something Courage is not the best at. He gets a little overwhelmed when he sees that many things to do. Definitely something to work on. He was pretty funny as he tried SO HARD to figure out what I wanted. We would trot through the first few, then sort of canter and then just LEAP out. Our instructor had me trot in, then halt, then walk or trot out a few times and he started to do better.
|He's got this|
Our instructor had me keep him forward, but put him on a circle and put him to work. We went through the exercise several times, and while the flailing never quite stopped, it got quite a bit less dramatic and protracted.
Then we added jumps! Now we were trotting over two poles and a crossrail, turning left, jumping another crossrail across the center of the arena, and then cantering on the right lead through the last set of poles. The goal of the exercise was to work on turning and balance. I expected C-rage to be a nutter, but he surprised me. He was totally unimpressed by the trot poles and X, stepped right over the next X, and then I opted to trot the rest.
And then we did it again. He hopped the first X and deer leaped the second one because we added fill. I stayed with him and kicked on and we landed in the most balanced right lead canter that we maintained all the way around the end WITH NO FLAILING!!! WOOHOO!!! He trotted the last poles, but I was happy with him.
Take aways from the lesson:
1) We're on the right track. Courage was comfortable in the group, good in company, and pretty easy to deal with. His good work is very good.
2) It is better to deal with the random forward/flailing thing than to have to kick him constantly.
3) It is important to address the flailing now. Keeping him forward is the right idea, but I also need to change his balance and put him to work IMMEDIATELY so he doesn't get the idea that he can just piss off for a few strides when he's in the mood for it.As our instructor put it, "if he thinks he can do that for 4 or 5 strides and you have a jump in 3, you're in trouble."
|Rocking their sexy coolers!|