Despite my emotional craziness through this quarter, Champagne has made some good progress on the schooling front. Outings did not go as well, but now that my head is on more or less straight again, this will resume hopefully with better results.
- Early Feb: Pre-HOY – This was not a disaster, but it could have been better. She travelled great and hung out quite happily at the show itself, but the riding was very nervous and tense. However, she never grew violent and stayed obedient to my cues to the best of her ability.
- Late Feb: HOY – Creature was lame so had to miss it.
- Due to not being great at Pre-HOY, we decided not to take her to SANESA Q2. She did our home show in April, though, and was completely calm and relaxed, garnering plenty of compliments from the judge. (And 82%, but the judge was quite generous. I’d have guessed it at a mid 60s test).
- Improve on her habit of throwing her head and running forward when scared. – Done. She can still be a little inconsistent in the contact when nervous, but there’s no more fling of the head and scoot. When she does spook she spooks like a dead ordinary young horse, just a little jump and then carry on.
- Improve the consistency of her connection, particularly through transitions. – Still imperfect, but vastly better. Walk/trot/walk/halt/walk transitions are fine and canter/trot are fine, but trot/canter can still be problematic.
- Improve her trot-canter transitions to the point where I can get the lead almost all the time without bucking. – Done! She can still get affronted if I get after her about the promptness of the transition, but strikes off correctly and only bucks on very rare occasions now.
2018 Q2 goals:
- Visit another place at least twice a month.
- Jump up to 60-70cm full courses confidently and with quiet rhythm.
- Continue improving on the quality of the connection, with the help of introducing a little shoulder-in.
Savanna has been going from strength to strength. We had a few big disagreements about rushing, but she has started to relax and even enjoy her work, getting lots of compliments from equitation judges.
2018 Q1 goals:
- Confirm all the Prelim work, including the stretches, square halts, and the little lengthening. – Done. The lengthening needs polishing, but everything else is solid, even the stretches.
- Continue working on gymnastics to improve her carefulness to the point where poles down happen once in a blue moon. Prepare to start schooling over 70-80cm fences in the second quarter. – Done. She only has a pole now if she rushes, and has even discovered a bascule. We are consistently jumping about 75cm now.
- Jump at least two clear rounds at shows. – Done, two of those being at 70cm.
2018 Q2 goals:
- Improve the softness of her connection so that her child can easily ride her nice and round once his hands are there.
- Jump 80cm confidently, cleanly and in a rhythm at home, ready for showing over 80cm in the third quarter.
- Start jumping little simple fences with her child quietly in a rhythm, once the child’s position gets to a point where I let him jump again.
Emmy has since left my program, but she’s going from strength to strength with K.
2018 Q1 Goals:
Finish preliminary schooling:
- confirm a united and balanced canter, with transitions and circles – Done, and with connection and bend
- hack alone and in company – Done and she is super, if occasionally a little exciteable in big groups
- introduction to small fence – Jumping tracks of about 60cm
Introduce to shows:
- go to a show and have a good experience. – Unfortunately we only managed for her to do the in house show with K, but she’ll go to her first proper show in May if all goes well.
Despite being out of work for a whole month with his ugly overreach, Titan has been progressing well. Unfortunately it has become evident that his child has already practically outgrown him, so he may be on the market once his schooling is finished.
2018 Q1 Goals:
- introduce trot – Done
- introduce canter – Done
- introduce the big arena. – Done
Start preliminary schooling:
- introduce the figures – Done
- establish a united canter, including circles – Done
- introduce small, simple fences – Done, he’s jumped a little track of crosses
- hack alone and in company (he will be spooky; it doesn’t have to be perfect). – This we didn’t get to, but I hope to start this week.
2018 Q2 goals:
- Hack alone and in company, even if it’s imperfect
- Jump 60cm tracks
- Introduce the ideas of connection and bend, to ride a Prelim test by the end of Q2
- Go to a show once a month and have good experiences.
This is our latest arrival from Arop (breeder of half our favourite horses, including Nell, Liana and Faith). She is a cute rising five-year-old hony who will be on the market as soon as I finish her. Unfortunately she was quite sick right after arriving, first with biliary and then a wormy colic, so I haven’t done much on her yet, but now we’re ready to get back to work.
Ankia has been ridden, for a given value of ridden; there are plenty of holes in her groundwork (major holes, like picking up feet and lunging properly). So I will be restarting her from scratch. Hopefully we will finish her and be able to move her on to a riding school kid and put her on the market in the next quarter, although when I made that deal with the owner I was kind of expecting that she’d know the basics considering a trainer had been working with her.
2018 Q2 goals:
- Become safe and easy on the ground in every way.
- Lunge properly in all three gaits.
- Introduce walk/trot/canter in the big arena.
- Introduce gentle hacks.
- Introduce a small fence.
Love having the training program a little fuller again, and I should be picking up a new pony this week. Glory to the King.