It was a bustling day at the barn on Saturday, and I took full advantage of everyone being around and managed to snag some videos of my lesson.
We didn't do anything remarkably new, or perfect - but it felt like a great example of what we are doing most of the time these days. Not our finest work, but not our worst and all in all - an improvement from where we've been.
This post is a video dump. I'm lacking a creative voice this morning and they mostly speak for themselves - so feel free to peruse or ignore as your interest waxes or wanes.
Trot work - in the contest quest to get (and keep) that darn right hind, we are playing a bit with (shallow) head to wall leg yields. These are hard for me. Winds gets a bit tight if we're too close to the wall, and.. that happens a lot.
However, when we do get that hind leg, his trot lifts and we get nice and straight. We've also been practicing this by circling with haunches out, then pushing into a lengthening. It feels productive and Winds is really starting to get the idea.
Over fences we warmed up over a tiny cross rail/oxer thing. This has been a really helpful warm up for me since I have to ride the corner, but I have a bit more time to get straight and get forward to the fence. My struggle is trying to be supportive and ride the hind leg while letting Winds poke his nose. I really like a nice little short neck that I can fiddle with (oops). Again, I'm thinking about pushing his hips left (baby leg yield) and that really helps my ride.
(we are riding with our big chestnut friend who is maybe our barn favorite. Such a good (huge) dude)
Then we moved on to small course. The entire time I've had Windsor, whenever we have a line set home off our right lead I have the HARDEST time getting up to it. I get stuck in the corner and end up chipping in. This is a problem. I know I'll have more space at the shows but I'd rather fix the problem of getting bogged down in the corner and not stepping through.
I'm getting better at it - and it involves a lot of me actively not using my outside rein to control the shoulder in the corner.... It's very counterintuitive to me. I have always turned with a lot of outside rein - and especially so with Prair. That big ol shoulder needed to be contained. But with Windsor, the same amount of outside rein results in him sucking back and getting very vertical in his step rather than continuing on his track... (and then we get into trouble).
Here I maybe needed a tad more outside rein (whoops) but it's a balancing act I haven't nailed yet.
Also, you'll see us almost leave a stride out. We've been working hard to get Winds moving up the lines, and I always anticipate landing and asking him to step out. Guess I didn't need to here... (blush)
Here's our (re) approach to our boogie monster line. When I ride this it feels like I'm pedal to the metal out of the corner, but clearly it hardly looks like it...
Again, I'm shocked/happy that we are getting up the lines, and it's hard not to choke him back to avoid the tight out since getting him to land and step out is goal #1 right now....
All in all a great lesson and I'm feeling pretty good with where we are at now that we're four weeks from our first show tougher!