Its been such a busy week! There is so much going on with AXiD this week, and our new girls are finally our sisters, and my little knows who I am! She is awesome - her name is Emma and she is from Cary, NC. I love my little!
Last Saturday Janene helped me set up a free jumping chute, and we sent both Ritter and the pony through to help them figure out where their feet go and to see what they had to offer. Ritter is well broke, but doesn't have much experience over fences. He showed some great potential! And he is so level headed that he makes the training aspect easy! The pony too was fabulous over the fences! I set up a cross rail, one stride to a vertical and kept increasing the size of the vertical. She sailed over 2'9! Here are the links to the videos:
On Tuesday I went out twice, in the morning I worked with the pony, and gave her a bath, and then after classes I went back out with Sarah and we rode Ritter and Moose in the front field to get some fitness in. We trotted for 25 minutes around the field up and down the shallow inclines. Ritter really couldn't care less about being out in the field, and though I expected some misbehavior, there was nothing. Not even the ponies running up and down the fence line on the property next door could rattle him. He didn't really have any interest in stretching his head down, but towards the last ten minutes he was great! We ended on a good note and cooled out by walking around the field a few times.
Yesterday I rode all three horses, and its funny because they all have similar issues, but such different personalities that the problems can't be solved the same way. Both Spice and the pony have issues bending, and also issues containing their excitement when they feel my leg against their side. For Spice, once she is bending and flexing at the poll she starts to pay attention to me, and at that point she listens when I put my leg on her side. The pony isn't as far along as Spice in her general education, so she resists any kind of full body bend, and begins to melt down when I put my leg on and yet don't want her going forward. I try to work less on actually bending with her and more on the general idea of leg on her side doesn't mean GO! This concept has demanded a lot of one rein stops and general conversations about how a proper pony is supposed to act.
Ritter on the other hand was awesome yesterday! Both yesterday and today were really light rides so that his body could recover from the fitness ride, but really effective nonetheless. I rode him in a cambon, which is a piece of tack that I originially bought for Zena in the fall, buthave also used on the yellow pony. Basically I really like it because its function is to keep the horse from throwing their head up in the air or from going around with their head too high. With him I like it because it keeps him from hollowing out every third or fourth stride. That is the main reason I kept both rides short today, while he is definitely more fit I want to be sure to keep him from getting too sore while we build up his fitness. Yesterday's ride was 15 or 20 minutes of mostly walk and trot, but a little canter. Today was just walk trot, mostly walk with a focus on moving away from leg pressure. He often picks up a trot when I add leg, instead of either moving away from my leg into a bend or whatever it is I'm asking for. I also began experimenting with leg yields and shoulder in. I was pleasantly surprised! He has more trouble moving from left to right, but that is probably related to the weakness in his left hind. Once his fitness is built up there is no reason he won't go on to be a successful hunter!
This week I also designed a new business card. They will be here in three days, what do y'all think?