The Fun Continues
|he's a stinker and he knows it!|
Last night's ride was slightly better than Monday's - once I got him into my faster gait of choice, he stayed there and and provided us with the impulsion we needed - but getting him there was the "thing".
The up transitions to EVERY gait were a struggle, but thankfully not as much so as they were on Monday - it generally took two "ask nicely" squeezes and then a big o'l boot to get Dino to pick up the pace, instead of a minute straight of booting & Mr. Whippy. I'm wondering if I let him spend too much time in the walk before picking up the trot for the first time. Who knows. I think part of it is that Dino is just bored with being in the ring, but since it's dark so early now I haven't been able to get out at all this week.
We did do some diagonal leg yields into the wall, which made Dino's Thinking Ears come out, and did good things for his body alignment.
After doing some No-Stirrups walk/trot transitions and getting Dino out in front of my leg in a half-seat canter, I decided to jump around a bit to keep him entertained, even though all I really want to do is perfect our flatwork right now!
I had everything set to around 2'3" - big enough to elicit some sort of effort from my pony, but small enough that I could just relax and trust my canter and my eye, and work on letting go a little bit on my approach.
It took a little doing, but once Dino was feeling motivated and happy about jumping, it was easy for me to just create a good canter, and then sit chilly. There were a couple times where I saw a "long" spot (i.e. not directly at the base) and panicked and jammed in another stride at the last second, but I was able to correct it and just ride FORWARD, and support the longer distance the next time around.
Also, it's funny how once we start jumping I suddenly have walk-canter transitions, whereas when we work on the flat just going from walk to trot is an epic feat. Maybe tiny crossrails should become a part of our flat warm up? Michael is scheduled to ride Dino tonight, so hopefully that will give him a good mental and physical break, and he'll be ready to roll the next time I ride him.