I finally feel like we are making progress. We had a little blip because Chesney managed to bruise all of the soles of his feet. However, I managed to figure out a way to carry on riding which wouldn't make him worse. Now, finally, the field is drying out which means that they are all much cleaner :)
My April aims were:
1. Calmness - still a bit speedy (not sure we will ever sort this)
2. Rhythm - needs work
3. Suppleness - improving again, slowly
4. Consistency of bend on left rein - disaster
5. Halt for more than 2 seconds! - 3???
6. Encouraging contact - this is working, but variable
7. All transitions
8. Trot serpentines - getting steadier and better
9. Increase cantering - bit more than we were doing, still too rushed
10. Trotting poles - we have only managed to walk over these so far
This is what April looked like:
1st - Rode in arena, about 25 minutes and he was naughty today :( Jumpy, shying, trying to canter off and generally looking for trouble!
2nd - Arena again and much better today. We did some walk and trot 20m circles and some walk serpentines. A bit of walk leg yield which he has remembered really well and a canter on each rein.
3rd - Hack today, just 35 minutes but so nice to get out again. Tommy was so sweet because when Chesney started getting stressed by the gate he went over to his fence and sniffed Chesney, as though he was reassuring him and saying 'It's OK I'm still here'
5th - Lunged today and he was good.
6th - Arena again but it was quite windy today so Basil was a bit jumpy. Pleased with him considering the wind though and we managed to trot over our single pole with no drama.
8th - Arena today, better again, we also managed to do some trot serpentines which were a bit rushed and canter on both reins. The cantering is also a bit rushed and we don't always get the right leg because Basil is not listening to me properly at the moment.
9th - We had a surprise today when we were walking around the arena because the Little Owl popped up and sat on the fence for a minute. We did 30 minutes today, walk and trot, we trotted over the pole again and did some better trot serpentines. We also managed some trot leg yield and some walking spirals. Really pleased today.
10th - Hack out again today. Enjoyed it.
11th - Vet to Chesney - he has bruised all his feet.
15th - Lunged Basil today and he was very good, despite a few extra days off.
16th - Rode Basil in the arena today for 30 minutes. Walk and trot circles and some lovely trot serpentines. We went to trot over the pole as we have been doing but today he thought it would be fun to jump it. Canter was a bit rushed again and he was strong and stroppy. Good walk spirals though.
17th - Arena again, we did some 20m circles in canter which were still a bit fast but he wasn't so stroppy today. Not bad trot serpentines but again he jumped our pole.
19th - Lunged today. Very good.
20th - Arena today and he was strong and awkward again, not sure if he is having a strop about the bit all of a sudden or just being difficult.
22nd - Lunged, again very good. We are getting our lunging rhythm going again now.
23rd - Arena, Basil was still keen today but better than last time, good walk and trot leg yield today. Over pole, jumping again - think he might be telling me something!
24th - Arena again, tried a new exercise when we walk a 20m circle at A then trot a 20m circle in the middle, then canter a 20m circle at C. Pleased but still cantering a bit fast. Better on the right rein.
26th - Lunged and again very good. I'm not sure how long this will last.
27th - It started to hail and rain after our first 5 minutes so we only managed 20m before we were really wet and cold. We walked over 3 trotting poles and although he was hesitant to start with Basil did walk over them without stepping back.
29th - Arena , disaster. I think neither of us were really in the mood but it was a bit windy and Basil took the opportunity to be difficult. Really jumpy and wouldn't walk up the side of the arena or bend the right way.
30th - Hack, after yesterday (and now Chesney is a lot better) I thought we needed a change of scenery. Basil was really good.
4. Consistency of bend on left rein
5. Halt - we don't practise this enough
6. Encouraging contact more now
7. Canter transitions need improving the most.
8. Trot serpentines still need to be more balanced
9. Improver our canter, less rushed, right lead
10. Trotting poles.
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Until next time!