Short version: We missed. A lot. But we learned. Yoshi tried new things. I tried new things.
Long version: We warmed up with the "medium" and "collect" game at the canter. The right lead still feels about half of what the left lead is, but I'm told it will get there. JT has been right on everything else, so I'll trust on this one for a while longer. I wish video captured the feel for me, I think if I looked back it would already be much, much better than it was 3 months ago. But alas, my eye is pretty awful, so I don't know if I could see big changes. I should pull out the pivo though to see if I can. Added bonus I'd have some pictures/videos to add to these word vomit posts.
|Two days ago from the kayak at Shired Island
I was having a bad hunchy day today for some reason. Which seems to exacerbate the pulling with the right hand. It crashed in our leg yields right. And then I found my right seat bone and released with the right hand and we got some (okay, like two) true steps. It feels like this will help him strengthen so much, I am going to add a couple of quality steps into our work each day this next week.
Warming up over the cross rail we had an important lesson too. We got the same long spot twice in a row. But the first time I had pulled him through the turn to it instead of pushing his shoulders around the turn. This meant he had to really lift his shoulders UP a lot to take off and it felt much more dramatic than the second time where I kept his balance up through the turn. Very interesting to feel because it was the exact same long spot each time.
Our course started with the red oxer, left hand turn around the top of the ring to a 90 degree turn to cavaletti-cross rail-cavaletti bounce across the short side of the ring. 90 degree right turn to come up the liverpool line which had been split out to a one stride cross rail to a cross rail over the liverpool to a 5 stride to the oxer out. Then it was a right hand turn around the top of the ring to a triple - 2 stride to 1 stride. The oxer and bounces rode fine, then I didn't get him up around the turn to the one stride to liverpool. He got very tight in to the first, tight to the liverpool, and then barreled down the 5 stride line and had to eek in the last stride. We repeated that once with a better ride through the turn to the liverpool line which made it flow better.
Then we started with the red oxer, bending line down to the liverpool one stride. He was apparently sick of me missing and ran right through my half halt to launch over the one stride fairly crooked. It was definitely way more work for him because he jumped the high side of both cross rails, and they were set close to the top of the standards. JT had me "halt him like I was falling off a cliff" after that and then give him big pats. The next time we halted after the oxer with some assistance from her (she's fearless). Then we picked the canter right back up and politely did the bending line using JT as a cone to turn around/slow his roll. We continued on to the triple after that, one stride first then two stride. He very politely waited for the tight spot on the in at my direction. I told her that it was crazy having her stand there because I had time to have complete thoughts about not running her over, yet still feel like I don't have time to sit up and half halt in things like the bending line.
We finished with the single cross rail, bending line to the oxer at the end of the 5 stride, then right hand turn up the triple. She notched them all up a bit to N/T height and he jumped incredibly well. He's so funny, it's like taking off out cross country, we had to correct him sharply once and then he was great. JT said "he's just trying to be extra helpful, but right now his judgement is not always correct." Which is so true. It's like now he can move his body in these new ways and jump pretty athletically most of the time, he's trying out new versions.
In other news (still unphotographed), the PS of Sweden is a no go for him. When we schooled Monday he spent our time waiting intermittently flipping his head like he had a fly on his nose in spite of there being zero bugs. He also was starting to have his tongue out more often than not while warming up. Not just a whisker pinching issue like I was hoping... Soooo I put him in a plain cavesson of the GY's that fits him better than mine did, and so far he is incredibly happy. No chomping, no flipping his nose when I put it on, no flipping his nose while standing. Time will tell, and very generously this is a long as I need it lend, so we're giving this a solid month before I commit to something. Fortunately since the PS of Sweden can be tricky to track down, JT bought it from me, so it isn't too much of a loss. I just wish he'd told me when I was still trialing hers and before I ordered it!