Unless it would be a freshly renovated tack room...
or a brand new manure composting space.
I made a few changes to our regular ride routine. Hoping to pique Val's interest in our work, I set up a course of cones and ground rails. I also lowered my stirrups and left Val's boots in the tack room. The contact and energy came and went, although they improved in each successive ride. This indicated a lack of steady focus on my aiding I suspect. I've also gone back to a lengthier warm-up, working on the buckle before I take up any contact. Our big walk improves with every ride. It seems to work best to ask for it after a number of trot transitions. Regarding my posture, it was also effective to sit up and back so far as too feel like too far, which I think is just far enough.
What really excited me was how engaged Val became with the introduction of new elements in the arena. Despite his cleverness, he was unable to correctly predict what I would be asking for next. There were just too many choices. Balkiness and steering issues vanished. :)
Would we ride over the rails, or perhaps through them? Circle around the entire complex, or figure eight with a diagonal change through the rails? Turn-on-the-forehand at each cone? What about halting squarely in the rails. (practice for halting at X!) We transitioned and backed through them as well. It was enough to make a poor horses head swim...
One question I have is how to determine the correct distance between the ground rails. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'd like to set the distance so they wouldn't have to be adjusted for the trot work. Thanks in advance my blogger friends.
|I likes my mints in me...|
|and on me :)|
Other news - there has been progress on the new arena. We've dropped and spread seven tandem loads of sand so far. In addition to the arena itself, we're adjusting the grade of the whole property to facilitate drainage. If it sounds expensive, it is. Who could believe you'd have to pay through the nose for sand when you live on an island made entirely from it?! We're getting there slowly but surely...
|Whatever will she think of next?!|