We are on board the contact train. Eli and I worked on that more on Saturday. Once again, as it turns out, the jumps are fine. The in-between the jumps, however …
Actually most of the ride was good, and Eli was jumping quite well. I was just not able to get any lead changes that day, which made stringing together 8 jumps smoothly a wee bit difficult. The tricky one is getting Eli to land on the right lead after a straight outside line. I push him to the middle with my right leg to keep him from drifting right. I put weight in my left stirrup to try to get him to land on the right lead. Coordinating this in a way that does not result in Eli landing on his left lead is tricky. One day, I will learn to ride my horse. Until that day, I’ll just keep trying.
On Sunday evening, Eli got a very light work out. It was SO HOT. We spent the first part of the ride just walking around in the fields. Eli likes to go all the way up to the road to stare at cows, maybe or maybe not spook at them. I kept short flat work we did in the arena.
But, per instructions of literally every equine professional in Eli’s life, I did do a little collection work, on both leads of the canter. I can feel Eli’s hind end slowly but surely gaining strength back. Even better, his left lead canter is starting to feel more powerful, like his right lead always has. Maybe by the time Eli is ready to retire, we’ll have gotten everything sorted out with him, from fitness to diet, to lead changes. Such is life with horses.