Bluebonnets are starting to pop up everywhere, although not too many at the farm yet. My modest goals this year are to get a picture of Eli grazing in or near wildflowers and to get a picture of Conrad in bluebonnets somewhere. But I’m not the type to drive specifically to some roadside bluebonnet explosion with my animals in outfits, so if I meet the goals at all it will be randomly.
On to the lesson business! Eli warming up, e.g.:
Nothing out of the ordinary there, other than what the hell did I just do with my left hand after the trot jump??? We strung together a few courses, and overall we just had a bit of fun. No, we didn’t nail every lead, and there was even some cross-cantering which drives me insane to see but I have gotten good at ignoring it in the moment and keeping some impulsion. So here’s the second course (first one didn’t make it on video but it was about the same):
Rode past the distance at the white oxer, but my last turn was much smoother than my first. The long ride to the gray & blue vertical, Eli read my mind and figured out we were turning left after and did an ugly but ultimately complete lead change to the left before the jump–I guess my position shifted enough to alert him to that? I also think it was well enough before that he was not swapping out in front of the jump out of discomfort or evasion as best I can tell. And hey, he is physically capable now of lead changes when I think ahead about direction and turning, so there is hope.
On to the last course of the lesson:
032616_two from rennikka on Vimeo.
I love the ride to the first jump. A skinny, and though we jumped the right side it rode so softly I kind of couldn’t believe it. I didn’t get Eli checked back quite as early as I should have from the red vertical to the white oxer and I rode to the base of the planks instead of across it in anticipation of the turn which turned out kind of ugly. The bridge/swedish thingie rode fine, and oh sure, NOW I see why I had that rail at the blue & gray–my trainer had said, it’s not the horse, don’t worry, you’ll see it on the video–instead of checking Eli once and leaving him alone I picked at him all the way to the base so of course I had the rail, all rider error there. The black vertical rode nicely, at least. Why does this horse put up with me? Apples, would be my guess.
The lesson was a good workout for Eli, and while he was quiet, he did not seem tired. He was sweating but not all foamed up even in the warm weather. I think his fitness is spot on where it needs to be and I need to step up our canter flatwork again, which will help the leads and turns if I can get his hind end a little easier to engage more quickly. It means collection and extension and counter canter which is all really hard. I plan to school again with my trainer on Wednesday.