Thursday, 21 January 2016

Schooling - Best Laid Plans!

So far January is not going according to plan!  Chesney's foot abscess means that I haven't been able to ride Basil for a couple of weeks now.  Ches is finally getting better so I thought I would have a look at some ideas for our schooling sessions!

My January aims for Basil are:
  1. Calmness 
  2. Rhythm 
  3. Suppleness 
  4. Consistency of bend on left rein 
  5. Halt for more than 2 seconds! 
  6. Encouraging contact
  7. All transitions
  8. Circles, serpentines and changes of rein.
I need to get in mind to practise our halts.  I am not very good at this as I tend to just keep on going around with other things.  I don't only stay on the track though, and try to include lots of 20 metre circles and serpentines.  Over Christmas we were doing lots of smaller 15 or 10 metre circles in walk in the corners to try to improve our suppleness and bend.  I find these really useful.  Our balance is a continual problem as trying to do the smaller circles in trot is not easy - we just tend to be trotting too fast :(  

I want to continue this year with trying out some new exercises and things to try and keep our interest while we are working on these.  The one exercise we did not manage to get right last year had lots of trot walk transitions - so this is something I really want to get this year.  This won't be achieved in January alone though. 

So I think we will start with walking the short sides and trotting the long sides, then swap that around. 

Something else which I would like to try in the few months  are just cantering half circles.  These will be quite a challenge and will take a while for us to get right.  It will take most of the second half of the circle to come back to walk!  As soon as we introduce the first canter in a session Basil assumes we are going to canter again in every corner so I have to constantly do things a bit differently!  Obviously, we won't be able to do much of this initially as he is not very fit.

The other new exercises we had just started doing when I had to stop riding because of Basil's tooth were these:

So we will try these again too.  This last one will be good for practising our corners as it is so easy to just fall around!  I will start doing it all in walk and then trot the bigger circle/square and walk the smaller one.

I also had a new book for Christmas which I am hoping to start working through soon.

I am hoping that I might be able to do some of the exercises in this book with Tommy from the ground too :)

Have you seen yesterday's video 'Snow Play!' on my You Tube channel.  
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Until next time!

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