Monday: jump school — already covered!
Now on to the evenings … I get to the barn after work around 7, so it’s totally dark now that we are back on Central Standard Time.
Tuesday: easy exercise day
I think getting Eli out and letting him move around under saddle the day after jumping seems to help his demeanor. I didn’t really want to do too much, just give him the exercise and not ask for much else but forward. I rode him in the full cheek mainly so that I would clean it after. He tends to lean on it less (like he even leans all that much, but over fences it can come in handy in the corners).
Wednesday: flat work focus
I let Eli get some stretchy trot in, then some forward cantering and tried to open up his gait a little bit, then I asked him to come back and do a slower, more collected canter (not actually dressage-y collected, just more contact and uphill balance). He pretty much did everything I asked him to do.
Thursday: flat work focus
I did not ask for much in the trot, but did take him through a trot pole to low cross rail a couple times to get him paying attention to where he is putting his feet. We then worked on cantering, and canter-walk transitions on a big figure 8. Sometimes I struggle with keeping Eli in the right gait, so I am working on not letting him fall out at the canter. Trying to do that while also asking for canter-walk transitions was difficult at first, because Eli anticipated so early. He definitely tried, though. I need to be clearer with my aids, too, and that will obviously help us.
This might be a good day to work with Eli on the ground, on the longe line. He’ll be pretty relaxed and focused from getting turnout and work all week, plus the weather is still mild right now. On the other hand, I don’t want to needlessly stress him out — I’ll just have to see how he does.