What a super weekend!
On Saturday, I go to the barn around 11 or so. And it was quiet..I was the only one there...and it was so so nice. I go out to get Chester - he is in the far end of the field - so I yell to him and he shoots his head straight up in the air...and ignores me...until I am bout 20 meters from him and he walks over to meet me..how cute is that?! We did some ring work, over cavaletti again and he was a star. I am getting consistent and frequent transitions from him and I can feel him moving from behind, which is such a nice feeling...I think he is finally starting to say 'thank GOD we are doing more stuff then just trotting around the arena'...I have slowly started to add in circles. And by circles, I basically mean cutting the ring is half and cutting my corners a little. Same with the diagonals. I am going across the short diagonals instead of the long way across. he was feekling good...very good. The best to date. Having gotten the all clear from DVM Extraordinaire to canter on the trail, I thought I would try it out in the arena. So we did, I stayed in 2 point and we went around the arena 1.5 times...that's it...and it was the best feeling in the world having him canterlike that, keeping his head down and feeling as smooth as I remember...As no one was there, once we had finished schooling, we are up to about 45 minutes now of mostly trot, we went out for a nice leisurely hack for about 45 minutes. I think that is going to be a key for this horse: a LOT of hacking/walking after we have finished 'schooling' no matter what it is we are schooling....the more he walks and builds muscle, the more he sees everything and becomes accustomed to the horse-eating grass and rocks, the better he will become.
Sunday - working hack...and I made us work...holy....we trotted up the hill three times, cantered the last, then at a trot, we went all in and out of the raspberry/strawberry fields...for a solid 15 minutes or so...Chester was working...so was I ...my 2 point has gotten so much stronger. Where as when we started doing this a month ago, I had to hang on to Chester's mane to feel secure....not anymore. I can balance without the need to hang on for dear life. He is becoming VERY responsive to my weight, body position and voice...which I have a feeling will be instrumental to being successful on xc with him. The way I see it, the less I ride with my hands, the better. The best part - Chester, wasn't that affected by it. He broke into a little bit of a sweat, but you couldn't tell that he had been working HARD for a good 40 minutes...oh and the puddle with the horse eating monsters in it....? He just marches straight on through now...YAY CHESTER! :-)
Here is the apple orchard I make sure we walk through on a daily basis...the more he gets used to tight spaces, the easier he will be on xc...right?! Ha
So - just got this message from my vet: PUSH HIM...he'll let you know when it is too much...she'll be out this week...yay Chester!
It is amazing how such a small achievement, can create such an emotional response.
Chin-Up and Kick ON