I can’t believe the first quarter of 2018 is already behind us. In one way it feels like mere days ago when we were holding December’s pony camp; in another, it feels like I have aged half a lifetime in the past three months. Either way, I’m slowly finding my equilibrium again, and we’ll start with some goal recaps to get us back on track.
If I had not had my Wonderbird through all this, I would have officially lost my snot completely. So he has actually done well, if not quite chronologically, hence why we’ve started ticking off a bunch of goals that I had actually aimed for the end of the year.
First and second quarter:
- Improve all of our downward transitions. We have improved them all – we just haven’t fixed them yet.
Improve our stretchy trot.I no longer lose any sleep over his stretchy trot. I can’t always get it early in a session, but I can get a really really good one once he’s ready to stretch. Improve both lengthenings.These are better, not quite medium yet, but fair enough for Novice lengthenings.
- Improve the halts, specifically staying connected in halt and immobility. We are working our butts off on these. He is square and connected in them now, but still kind of wiggly.
- Improve rein back. Still working on this. He can do really good rein back on occasion, but it’s inconsistent, and sometimes when the rein back gets good then his halts go downhill.
Third and fourth quarter:
Introduce all of the Elementary movements:
serpentine four loopsThe horse is so bendy it’s like riding a Slinky, this is not a problem for him
- halt immobility 5 seconds – working on it
canter circle with break of contact– and it’s fabulous
- half stretchy trot circle
- canter-walk transition – introduced and balanced, but still tends to have two or three trot steps in it
- transition from walk to counter canter on the long side
shoulder-in– good on both reins
- medium trot – working on it
- extended walk
- serpentine 3 loops with counter canter
- medium canter
leg-yield zigzag– rocking it turn on the haunches– equally rocking 10m canter circle– bit of an effort, but present and correct
- half circle in counter canter
- simple change on a short diagonal – not yet polished but tolerable
- simple change on the long side
- E-X half circle, X simple change, X-B half circle
- collected trot
- Keep working on quiet little hacks. – I haven’t been in the brain space for hacking him.
- Take at least one showing lesson or clinic. – Logistics have not yet allowed.
Get over my phobia of all showing judges. Show at least once with one of the horrible ones and learn to deal.– Nailed it. Showed under my least favourite judge and she bucked the entire time and every time he yelled something condescending I may or may not have whispered something rebellious under my breath. (But not profane. Promise). Improve her rein-back and lengthenings.– She has a super rein back now and her lengthenings are about as good as they will get. Get points to go out of Novice.– She’s an open show pony and in the tickets sometimes, too.
I am about done showing Arwen for the next few months, but I’d love to do compleat horse at the Derby in September/October, so that’s the next goal we’ll be working towards.
First and second quarter:
Complete the backing:
long-line– done introduce pole work– done introduce the rider– done, and she barely noticed introduce walk– done introduce trot– done
- introduce canter – well, it’s introduced, but only like three strides at a time and still a bit funky-looking
move to the dressage arena.
Start preliminary schooling:
introduce the figures
- establish good transitions between gaits – all except the canter transitions
- establish balanced and united canter – yeah… no
- introduce hacks, alone and in company
possibly ride a walk/trot test at our April showand she was so, so relaxed show in-hand.– and she was very good but a bit separation anxious
Faithy is very much on track, but still quite immature in some areas. Once we break through the canter problem, there will be no stopping her. I am not pushing her hard right now because she’s babyish for her age and there is plenty of time for her to grow up. Citizenship is all we’re really doing right now, and then playing with canter to slowly build her confidence.
First and second quarter:
Showjump 90cm at available training shows.– We skipped this and went straight to SANESA. Compete at equitation 90cm at SANESA. Score 70% (that’s a 28) or more, if not at the first qualifier, then at least at the last two. 70% is the pass mark for Module 5.– We did the first two qualifiers, scoring 28 and 29.
- Introduce all the flatwork required at Module 5: leg-yield, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, a little shoulder-in, a little travers. (The exam specifies only “lateral work” but I don’t expect to have to do half-pass). – Not quite. We have turn on the forehand and a bit of leg-yield, but it’s not quite polished yet.
This poor equid tends to be the one that gets neglected just because he’s such a low maintenance guy, but he doesn’t mind. He has carrots. He doesn’t mind anything as long as he has carrots.
In other news, the darling is away for about 100000000000000000 years (i. e. eight weeks) for work, which is sad but necessary. We had boot camp, which was awesome. We had our third little show, which was quiet but also pretty awesome. God is good.
All the time.
Glory to the King.