Thursday, October 30, 2014

Catch up: a couple good lessons and a hunters pace!

I've been neglectful of this blog of late. So here are a few of the recent highlights:

1.  Long Lake Hounds hunters pace- we took Louie and Jackson and had a blast!! We rode fast, completed it in 1 hour 8 minutes, and beat the goal time by about 12 minutes.  We cut an hour off of Louie's last effort!  We will be sure to be back, my husband wants to win next year!

2. Great lesson 2 weeks ago on haunches in- with work on the turn on the haunches and half pass. It's coming along nicely, and connecting to the square exercise by doing the half halt with the inside leg, then catching the horses hind end with the outside leg so they don't actually turn on the forehand. The next step is releasing into more energy and stretch...

3. ... And that's where we picked up today with another great lesson! Exercises to build up impulsion and motor, with half halts then releasing into extensions. First exercise was spiral in, sit to the inside, use the outside aids and not too much inside bend. When you get a nice impulsive trot, spiral out, then shoulder in along the long side.  Next exercise is trotting 10 m circles or half circles, making effortless changes to the next half circle, then after 3 or 4 of them, shoulder in a few steps down the long side and then extend the trot for a few strides across the half diagonal. Can be done sitting trot or posting, need "half half and go's" throughout the circles and whip during the shoulder in and extension- don't overdo the shoulder in.  Julie notes we will probably also get better trot extensions sometimes after working on a powerful canter.  Next exercise- trot spiral in, when you get a nice trot, spiral out and canter. Half halts in the canter focusing on arms up, whip, tuck, and toes/stand, and after a circle or two, extend canter down the long side, a few strides, and before the horse falls on his face in extension, collect back up and canter a circle. Rinse, repeat, but not too much.

Today's lesson was in the outdoor arena- on October 30th, yes!! And it was great! Louie was awesome and Julie has been very happy with our riding so clearly we are doing something right!!  We had a great lesson and have been learning a lot, making strides toward advancement, and doing really well!! Too bad it's fall, no shows for many months...