Finally we are making progress. Basil seems much happier and I have more control. I have chosen him a new bit which he seemed happier in straight away. He was still strong initially and I came to the conclusion that he has learnt to get his tongue over the bit in the last year or so. I found his old flash strap which I stopped using just after I had him in 2007!!! Problem solved:)
My Aims for March were:
1. Calmness - improving
2. Rhythm - also improving
3. Suppleness - getting some towards the end of the month
4. Improved brakes - just about sorted with the flash strap
5. Correct canter leads - no problems this month
6. Turn on forehand - practising and getting better
7. Leg yield - always one of our better exercises :)
This is what March looked like:
4th - lunged for 10 minutes as Basil has had a month off, just in case! Mostly walk with a couple of
trots, he was very good - surprisingly.
5th - lunged again, same as yesterday but Basil had one mad moment of cantering and leaping BUT he stayed on the circle.
7th - Lunged and very good again so I think I can safely get on top now.
8th - rode in the arena for 20 minutes today with our new bit. Walk serpentines and circles. A couple of trots.
10th - lunging today.
11th - rode in the arena today for 25 minutes with the intention of doing the same as the other day. Basil started thinking we were going to canter when we trotted into the corners and was quite strong again.
12th - rode in the arena and decided today that Basil is getting his tongue over the bit. He was strong again.
14th - better today in the arena with the flash strap on his noseband. Walk and trot circles and serpentines. Loops again but he was expecting to canter.
15th - arena again and all better - Basil was more supple and looking to go rounder. We had better bend. Short canter on each rein today, not too fast :)
16th - lunged today, bit silly to start as there was a lot going on at the farm.
18th - really feel like we are making progress. Walk and trot circles, serpentines and loops. Leg yeild in walk and trot and 1 circuit in canter on each rein - pretty controlled too.
21st - good lunging session today.
24th - arena, same as last time. Still improving.
25th - 30 minutes in the arena today. More balanced in trot, better in canter too. Turn on the forehand today.
26th - first hack out today. Not nearly as speedy as I was expecting, lovely to be out again.
28th - rode in the arena today and thought we were making progress as we had 2 nice canters. Our trot serpentines were OK. Basil was looking for a contact a bit in trot and giving me a better bend too :) When he came in tonight he had a slight nosebleed - mostly watery but with a touch of blood.
Basil's funny nose carried on until it finally cleared up over night on Thursday 30th. I am not sure what he did or what caused it but I didn't ride or lunge as I didn't want to make it worse.
My Aims for May are:
4. More balance
5. Correct canter leads
6. Turn on forehand
7. Leg yield
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Until next time!