Thursday, 6 August 2015

July Review

Another mixed month as we have made some good progress in some ways.  Floss leaving reduced our hacking but obviously we spent more time in the school which helps our progress.  I do like a bit of variety though.   Basil has been suffering again getting another colic episode but he seems to recover relatively quickly which is good.  I have now moved some more jump wings into the arena (finally) so we should be able to try some doubles now too.  I am still riding early in the morning although it has definitely not been so hot during July.

My July Aims for Basil were:
1.       Calmness, rhythm and suppleness in all paces. Definitely huge improvements in walk and trot.
2.       Consistency of bend on left rein.  Again, getting better in walk and trot. Slight improvement in canter.
3.       Halt transitions from trot, continue to improve. Ongoing!
4.       Canter to trot transitions - still need improving. Ongoing!
5.       Jumping, 1 stride doubles, in a good sensible canter rhythm. This is better, still room for further improvement though.
6.       Turn on the forehand - improve movement away from left leg.  Definitely better.
7.       Leg yield away from and towards track in one fluid motion.  Great, on the bit too!
8.       Improve our  half circles in trot.  I have not done many of these - I forgot.
9.       Learn a dressage test (prelim 1) and practice at home.  Practising movements. 
10.   Lunge in bridle as I would like to introduce side reins soon.  Oh, no.

This is what July looked like:

2nd  - lunging today and we had a great session!

3rd - flat schooling.  It was really cold this morning so I allowed extra warm up time for Basil's muscles.  Did some lovely supple, shape and bending work in walk and trot.  Our canter work improved towards the end of the session.

4th - jumping.  Basil was still a bit excited but was better than last time.  I think the fact that our canter is generally a bit fast is the problem which doesn't help us with our speed towards jumps.  We met one jump really badly today BUT Basil still jumped it so I was really pleased.  Obviously we came around and did it again so that we ended on a good note.

6th July - lunging today. 

7th - flat schooling.  We are really progressing now with our softness and on the bit work.  We had some really lovely walks and trots. Leg yield in both walk and trot on both reins to and from the track and I am definitely noticing that our trot serpentines are better when working on the bit!

9th - Farrier & Tommy arrived :)

10th - lunging session to make sure that everyone is relatively settled with our new friend.

11th - flat schooling.  Great, soft and supple in walk and trot.  Canter still needs work though.  Did some lovely circles and serpentines on the bit in walk and trot and finished with some leg yield.

12th - jumped.  Better than last time.  Not so fast, more balanced and lovely jumping.  We managed to land on the right leg a few times too!  Loving it.

15th - lunged.  Good session again today.  Strange how we can have several good sessions and then one day for no reason Basil decides to be loopy.

17th - flat schooling.  Chesney was upset for some reason today and this is the first time Tommy has seen him trot up and down the fence.  Basil is relatively used to it.  Tommy watched for a while and then decided to take the opportunity to gallop up and down the field 5 or 6 times.  This was too much for Basil who had a sort of panic attack in the corner and froze to the spot shaking.  When Tommy calmed down and ate again Basil relaxed and we just worked on some calm walk and trot circles and serpentines with 1 canter on each rein.  We managed to finish on a better note.

18th - hack today.  Not been out for over a month so really pleased with Basil as he was really good and we met another horse.

19th - lunged.  Basil was a bit loopy in canter today.

21st - flat schooling.  Once we had warmed up Basil went really well.  He was really light in the hand in walk and trot and worked nicely on the bit.  We had a good bend and he was supple on both reins.  BRILLIANT. We did leg yield towards and away from the track which was great too.  Our canter work is still a bit fast with not much rhythm, although, it is improving.  We have a long way to go before we work on the bit in canter.

22nd - lunged.

24th - schooling.  After 5 minutes steady walk warm up with a little trot Basil practically threw himself on the floor.  He was digging, kicking and obviously seriously unhappy.  We stopped and I decided he had colic so called the vet.  He then seemed a bit better but the vet gave him an injection to settle him and his tummy.  Basil is having a tough time at the moment :(

26th - short quiet lunging session.  Just walk and a bit of trot.

30th - flat schooling.  Quiet session.  Walk and trot, one canter on each rein.   Circles and serpentines, worked well but I did not ask for too much today.

31st - flat schooling.  Nearly back to normal with session today.  Worked more on bit with circles and serpentines.  Suppleness and bend too.  I think we are making little improvements in our canter shape too - which is great.  Need some new exercises!

My August Aims for Basil are:
1.       Calmness, rhythm and suppleness in  canter.
2.       Consistency of bend on left rein in trot and canter.
3.       Halt transitions from trot, continue to improve.
4.       Canter to trot transitions - still need to happen more quickly.
5.       Jumping, 1 stride doubles, in a good sensible canter rhythm.
6.       Turn on the forehand - continue improve movement away from left leg.
7.       Introduce the 'snowman' and 'squareman' exercises.
8.       Change rein in canter with 4 or less trot strides to change canter lead.
9.       Improve our  half circles in trot.
10.   Learn a dressage test (prelim 1) and do it at home.

Did you see yesterday's vidoe 'Flat Schooling' just a few clips of Basil and I last week!    
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Until next time!

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