Thursday, 6 November 2014

Basil Update

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

  • calmness 
  • suppleness 
  • continuing with the pole

Check back for my next update which I am going to try to do weekly!

You can also follow me on Facebook for updates on Chesney, Basil, Fidget and Daisy.

Until next time!

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