October has not been as successful as I hoped after the last half of September. We have had some real problems with our canter leads but I hope we have found the reason and fixed it!
My Aims for October with Basil were:
1. Calmness - especially in canter
2. Rhythm - this is improving in trot on the whole
3. Suppleness - sometimes too supple
4. Consistency of bend on left rein - hopeless
5. Having more consistent contact - better on right rein
6. Some work on the bit - great at start of month
7. Trot serpentines still need to be more balanced
8. Improve our canter, less rushed - at start of month better
9. Some new exercises - must try harder!
10. Trotting poles - oops again
This is what October looked like:
1st - rode in arena today, Basil got better but was a bit slow to start with. Lovely leg yield in walk and trot but a dodgy first left serpentine in trot, the 2nd was better - he tends to rush and not listen to go around the corner, he thinks we should be cantering! Right rein trot serpentine lots better. He was a bit funny in canter today and kept swishing his tail (which is unusual) so I will watch that, I hope it was just a fly.
2nd - hack out today and Basil was really good for most of it. Unfortunately on the way home 2 groups of motorbikes went past. They are good and slow down and wait for me to get in a gateway but when there are 6 or more to go past Basil gets really stressed. He coped with the first group but the next group 5 minutes later was a bit much and after the first 4 had gone past he started backing up and leaping about stressing - luckily I managed to stay on.
4th - arena, it was quite windy so I was pleased that Basil wasn't too silly. We managed some good trot serpentines and leg yield but his tail was swishy in canter again :(
5th - lunged today - very good now.
7th - lunged again.
8th - hack today, Basil was doing his speedy walk on the way home but was great otherwise, good that he has put last weekend's hack behind him.
9th - arena and we had a swishy tail again. Basil seemed a bit distracted today, we did some OK work but not great.
11th - lunged today, I like lunging once or twice a week as it gives me a chance to watch Basil work and he can stretch his neck and back. When lunged regularly he is really good, it is just after a break when he can be naughty - and every so often he has a silly day! Tommy cut his leg today so I waited around for the vet :(
12th - arena again. Pleased with Basil as he was really calm when a tractor went past just the other side of the hedge. Lovely trot leg yield today, he listens to me now and doesn't whizz over as quickly as possible. Bit strong in canter today.
13th - vet back to check Tommy.
14th - arena today and Basil was again strong in canter. I also had trouble with our canter leads today he struck wrong on both reins - he rushes and anticipates which means not listening to me:(
15th - hack today, we are enjoying the last few good weekends of weather before the cold and wet arrives.
16th - Thought I would lunge today but it was quite windy, I struggled to get him in as he kept galloping around the field . Then when I caught him he was awful and just cantered around and around in the arena.
18th - arena for some work today. I am beginning to think Basil might have a sharp tooth, the dentist is due next week which is good. He is just really difficult to get the correct lead in canter on the left rein at the moment, he is setting his head at a funny angle and just trotting faster then cantering on the wrong leg. He won't listen at all.
19th - Lunged today - good :)
21st - rode arena today and come to conclusion he is not right - I hope it is a sharp tooth which will get fixed next week.
25th - Lunged
26th - Lunged - no bit until dentist been!
28th - Dentist, did find a slight sharp edge which was probably causing our difficulties. Basil will be sore for a few days now so will give him a bit more time off from riding.
Please let November be an improvement!
1. Calmness - especially in canter
4. Correct canter leads on both reins
5. Consistency of bend on left rein
6. Having more consistent contact in trot
7. Longer periods working on the bit
8. Trot serpentines need to be more consistent
9. Improve our canter, more rounded
10. Trotting poles
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Until next time!