Thursday, 5 March 2015

February Review

February has been a successful month when it comes to most of my goals!  I'm loving the sense of achievement I am getting from actually writing them down and then writing down what I am actually doing to work towards them!

My February aims for Basil were:

  1. Calmness - this is definitely getting better in walk and trot but needs work in canter. 
  2. Rhythm - again we can achieve pretty rhythmic trot but canter is variable. 
  3. Suppleness - right rein is generally fantastic at all paces, left rein is not consistent in canter. 
  4. Consistency of bend on left rein - see above, still needs work! 
  5. Halt transitions - improving.  Good from walk, more practise needed from trot. 
  6. Trotting poles - definitely getting used to these now, picks feet up well. 
  7. Continue to canter single poles - yes, but we have moved on to JUMPING. 
  8. Turn on the forehand - oops forgot this - March aim now. 
  9. Lunge in bridle - haven't done this yet. 
  10. Pilates - tried walking over raised poles and backing up - need to introduce more.

 This is what February looked like:-

2nd - School, arena was slightly icy so we stayed in walk and trot.  Really good, practised walk to halt transitions which are improving and tried a few trot to halt transitions.  We are getting between 3 and 6 walk strides before we manage to halt from trot though - needs more work!  However, Basil worked in an outline and was really soft.

3rd  - Hack, really pleased as we managed to walk home instead of jogging which we have been doing lately.

4th - Lunged, managed walk to halt on right rein but on left rein he ignores me and then when finally halts turns in - he is confused when I correct this. Worked well otherwise.  Led over 3 raised poles at end of session and practised backing up but he still raises his head - I need to work on my technique!

6th - School, windy and there were pigeons in the hedge!  Jumpy to begin with but settled as I managed to remain calm and positive.  Worked in walk, trot and canter with good bend on both reins (left can be a bit tricky).  We walked and then trotted over the trotting poles.

7th - Hack, Basil was really good and I was really pleased as we met another horse when we were on our way back. He did come back in a fast walk/jog but there wasn't any napping or silliness.  I kept calm too!

8th - School, EXCELLENT. Canter circles with change of rein in trot before cantering a circle on the other rein - Basil came back to trot well which is great.  Did some great walk to halt transitions too.  Then BIG NEWS  we jumped a cross pole out of trot.  The first 2 or 3 times were more like cat jumps but then we had some nice pops before trying on the other rein which again were nice pops.  I kept my leg on and kept positive!  SO SO PLEASED! TICK OFF GOAL FOR 2015.

10th - Hack, pretty good we had to negotiate some road works which can be a challenge but I was pleased with him today.  Chesney had 'tweaked' a muscle in his fetlock/pastern on our return (because he trots up and down in the mud) - limiting hacking for a few days!

11th - School, trotting poles and we jumped a slightly bigger cross pole out of trot.  Basil landed in canter which I just went with - no over-reaction which was great.  We then did some canter work and he got quite strong, we need to work on this and I think really I just need to relax and let go more - mmmm...  challenge!

14th - Lunged, very good.  I kept it simple because we had the hunt very close by on 12th and the horses have been wound up since.  No roller today and I expected Basil to be loopy - as usual horses prove you wrong - he was brilliant.

15th - School, today we tried a new exercise of alternating walk and trot at where each school letter would be (I don't have any).  I had to abandon this as our trot to walk transitions are not very immediate so we tried trotting the long sides and walking the short sides.  Eventually, we were managing this but to start with it took me half of the short stride to come back to walk - must start asking for walk earlier!  We also did some walk leg yield which is generally pretty good as long as I keep my outside leg on so that he does not rush over.  Good canters too, trying to relax and let go more!

18th - Lunged, with the roller today.  Very good session with a good rhythmic left canter (this can be a bit speedy and unbalanced).

19th  - Schooled, just one thing to say about this session . WE JUMPED OUT OF CANTER. OMG!

20th - Lunged,  pretty good, mostly calm, just a couple of bucks in left canter.

21st - Schooled, I was not really feeling it and Basil knew it.  It was a bit windy but he was extra spooky because I was not really riding my best!  We did achieve leg yield in walk and trot on both reins and the canter transitions were better.

24th - Lunged, it was really windy and Basil agreed, he spent the first 5 minutes cantering and bucking around on the left rein.  He was very good on the right rein though - typical!

25th - Hack, short hack today to check Chesney's leg is OK.  Basil was very good, calm, fun, chilled ride.

26th - Schooled, started well with the sun out.  Warmed up with walk and trot and put stirrups up to jump.  Then the wind picked up ALOT but Basil seemed fine.  Popped a straight fence (maybe 2') out of trot a couple of times before coming out of canter.  Excellent, lovely jumps, no over-reaction, good rhythm and managed to ignore the wind.  Really, really pleased but cut session short as it was getting too windy.

27th - Lunged, with roller.  Very good halts on right rein but again halts on left rein need practise as he still turns in.

28th - Hack, slightly longer hack.  Was a bit windy but Basil was fine with it.  We had quite a fast walk back but was a fun ride.

So in view of these I can tick off a horse riding 2015 Aim

  • Ride Basil over a jump - TICK!

I have also achieved another 2 of my 2015 Aims

  • Join Instagram - TICK!  horselifeandlove 
  • Finish BHS Stage 1 blogs and start BHS Stage - TICK!

My March Aims for Basil are:

  1. Calmness, rhythm and suppleness in all paces. 
  2. Consistency of bend on left rein. 
  3. Halt transitions from trot. 
  4. Leg yield away from track. 
  5. Trot to walk to trot exercise. 
  6. Trotting poles. 
  7. Jumping, single fence, increase height and work on canter rhythm up to and after. 
  8. Turn on the forehand. 
  9. Lunge in bridle. 
  10. Pilates.

I would love to hear your aims and goals!

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Until next time!

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