Our lesson last Sunday was great - not much in particular stuck out but he was willing and forward. The canter is still a bit of a challenge. Our transitions aren't great yet in that he tends to fling his head upwards, but they are getting incrementally better. The canter itself is just hard to hold. He either wants to break or just run. He is learning to hold the rhythm but it will take awhile for him to be strong.
The best thing was how he was moving off my right leg. I was able to get him to bend around the corners and we were able to actually make tight turns with outside shoulder control. Not sure if it is the chiro, training, or most likely, a combination, but we are getting a much more adjustable horse.
We even did some jumping- which I have largely been avoiding -and he was fine. He looked at one fence but I didn't react except to add leg and he quietly went over.
We had a few hacks this week and he was equally good. I like riding Thursday nights because the other jump trainer always has crazy things set up in the ring and that stresses Fawkes out. He does not like when his environment changes! But it lets us work on our skills. He is no longer allowed to sight see at all. If he is getting distracted, he gets put to work. That used to cause his behavior to escalate, but now instead of getting upset, he settles into the work. Sort of a Pavlovian response that has been trained in. So we start trotting around, he gets snorty and tense at all the jumps and poles, and we work on bend, counterbend, leg yield, stretching down and back up, and relatively quickly he is relaxed. I love it, and I hope we never go back to the old ways.
Wednesday I was even able to ride outside for about 20 minutes. We haven't been in the outdoor in about forever because weekends have had mostly crap weather and there is no light during the week. So I wasn't sure what to expect. He was a little more looky, but still was willing to listen. We did W/T/C and poles, all were good. Not noteworthy mostly, which is the best thing about it.
In general barn life news, Fawkes got moved to a new run due to some horse dynamics. Nothing he caused, I am not actually sure why he was moved but whatever. From what I can tell, he cares not at all about the change and has a better view of the neighbors now. Horse TV and whatnot.
|Our first jumping lesson at the new barn last Feb.|
As we celebrate our one year anniversary at this barn, I think and hope we are on the right path. There has been more backwards than I would have predicted and our pace now is really slow, but as long as we continue as we are, I have no complaints.