Getting back on track this month :) Basil has been sound and we have been making some progress. I am glad that we have nearly managed to carry on where we left June. I was concerned we would be straight back to square one but he is working nicely. I had a riding lesson in the middle of August and it is amazing how after that everything gets even better! It is good just to be nudged out of any bad habits, I am hoping to have a few regular lessons again from now on - if I can fit them in.
My aims for August with Basil were:
1. Calmness - I think we are making progress in all paces
2. Rhythm - good trot rhythm and canter is getting better
3. Suppleness - Basil is looking for a contact now in trot
4. Consistency of bend on left rein - this, I think, is always going to be a challenge
5. Having more consistent contact - getting there!
6. Right canter lead - no problems this month
7. Trot serpentines are getting more balanced on both reins
8. Improve our canter - definite improvements being made
9. Leg yield in walk - good although I have to be careful Basil doesn't try to do this too fast and 'fall' through his shoulder.
10. New exercises - fail!
This is what August looked like:
2nd - Lunged today, very silly - still excited to be doing something after his time off. Supposed to be mostly walk and a little trot.
4th - Farrier came today to put his back shoes back on - we can start work proper again.
5th - Lunged again .... improving!
6th - Arena - First time I have ridden for quite a long time so mostly walk. We just did 20 minutes today with a little trot on each rein. Lots of circles and changes of rein working on getting the correct bend.
7th - Rode in the arena again today for a little bit longer. It was quite windy so Basil took the opportunity to find the corner of the arena very scary. He was more keen today too but still pleased with him. Much the same as yesterday.
9th - Lunging again - Basil was a good boy today.
10th - Rode in the arena for 25 minutes this morning - again lots of circles and rein changes and serpentines in walk and we are increasing time spent trotting.
12th - Good lunging session again.
13th - Rode in the arena 30 minutes- silly today and kept shying for no reason!
14th - 30 minutes in the arena again - such a monster! Basil was worse today and would not go up to the far end of the arena. We ended up working in the 3/4 nearest the gateway in walk and trot. Had a little canter too! By the end I did manage to get him to walk around the far end on each rein.
16th - Lunged today - getting better and more settled again now :)
17th - 30 minutes in the arena and although he is getting a bit better he still made a big deal out of the corner. More trotting today. Walk leg yield.
19th - Lunged arena again. He had 1 silly moment but on the whole is being pretty sensible to lunge again now.
20th - Too windy today.
21st - Arena. Basil was good considering it was still quite windy. He was on his toes and a bit jumpy but did some nice work in walk and trot on the bit (in between the jumping and shying). More walk leg yield and walking over a pole.
22nd - lunged - definitely improving.
23rd - Arena again - definitely improving. I feel like we have mostly carried on where we left off in June. Cantering is not as mad as it was in early June and he is still looking for a contact.
26th - Lunged.
27th - Hack today - so good getting out again, Chesney was not very impressed though. Basil was very good and sensible even on the way home!
29th - Arena and Basil was good on the whole. We had a bit of an interruption when the point to pointers went past and Tommy decided to gallop up and down and Chesney joined in. Basil though had his sensible head on (unusually) and was happy to carry on, we did some 10m circles in walk whilst they went past and then carried on normally. We did some really nice work in trot today and had 2 sensible canters.
30th - Lunged this morning, it was cold :(
I am hoping September will be a good month now we are getting back on track!
1. Calmness - especially in canter
4. Consistency of bend on left rein
5. Having more consistent contact
6. Some work on the bit
7. Trot serpentines still need to be more balanced
8. Improve our canter, less rushed
9. Some new exercises
10. Trotting poles
Did you see yesterday's video 'Steaming or Soaking Hay' on my You Tube channel.
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Until next time!