Now I have access to an all weather arena I am able to school Basil again. The field is so uneven here that it has only been possible to school while I hack out, as most of the hacking around here is road work this has its limitations! This basically means Basil has had no proper schooling for over 4 years, we also haven't been able to jump.
I have started almost from scratch again with my main aim initially being calmness. Basil is of the opinion that fast is good (unless he is walking)so I am trying to get a steady and rhythmic trot. Canter is a bit of a challenge as he seems to think that bucking is a better option!
The best way to keep him calm is to make it boring, so we trot circles and around the edge of the arena. Serpentines are a bit exciting as the change of rein makes Baz think it is time to canter. However, I do feel we have made progress and I am able to get a more settled trot on both reins now. Canter is good some days and not others so consistency is probably our next aim!
We have also been working a little on suppleness and I have remembered that he is considerably more supple on the right rein which he uses to his advantage if possible. I have been working on getting him to bend around my inside leg more and this is slowly improving. Last week we tried a little leg yield to help with this and he does remember how to do that.
The other thing I have been doing is introducing poles, or a pole. Basil loved his jumping and generally did that with over exuberance so I am trying to plan ahead. I have put one pole on the floor and am walking over it every now and again during my schooling sessions. When I started we did a little hop over it, now we are walking - progress!
As I am hoping to do some ground work with Basil which I have not done much of (except lunging) in the past I am also lunging him once a week. This is with the hope that I can then introduce some different ground schooling exercises. Basil approaches lunging in the same way he does many things .... fast is good. After our session I am then leading him over the pole, boring is good.
Over the next few weeks we will be working on
- continuing with the pole
Check back for my next update which I am going to try to do weekly!
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Until next time!