Whoopsie - it's been a while since I posted anything. Let's hope I can remember what I did over the past week. And - I am finding that as I get older, it is taking me longer to recover from my weekend. It was my best friend's jack and jill on Saturday night, and now that is it almost 3:00 p.m. on Monday, I can say that I am STILL tired and have spent the day in bed.
We did end up having a lesson last Wednesday. The focus over the fall and winter will be getting the Pickle to make better use of his front end and stop 'hanging' his legs over fences...which will lead to a mountain of problems on xc when we start to hit the higher levels. The last thing I want is for him to catch one of his legs going over a jump that doesn't fall down. That is a recipe for disaster. So, that means we will be doing a LOT of gymnastics and single fence oxers so that he learns to stretch a little more. You can see from some of the pictures that he has great knees and doesn't WANT to touch anything, he just has to learn to be a little more resourceful on HOW he uses himself. We'll work on it. We worked on me also...my position, my aids before, over and after the fence, my release...holy - just when you think you are making headway, you have 4 more things to try and sort out. Joyce says I am too hard on myself and last week's lesson was no exception. I didn't think I was riding very well, she said there was monumental improvement from the start of the lesson to the end...so that is what I am going to go on.
Thursday - we did a little conditioning...which I always enjoy. Chester seems to like it too...this time of year is fantastic for evening riding (although right now it is 42 degrees out with the humidity) and Chester loves being out in that field. I popped him over a couple of the smaller xc jumps just for fun and then we walked for a good 40 minutes. Like people, horses benefit so much from long slow work. It was nice to have him snorting away to himself as we were walking around.
Sunday - I lunged for about 35 minutes. With his bridle and side reins on....I need to start doing this at LEAST once a week...I should be doing it more often then I am right now though, that is for sure. It gives Pickle the chance to use himself properly, engage his hind end, without him having to worry about carrying my ass around and screwing around with his face. It also basically proves it to me that as long as I keep him moving forward into a steady contact i.e - NOT MOVING MY HANDS SO MUCH, he is happy and will pretty much put himself into a frame. His mouth was frothy, he was relaxed and happy...it was nice.
I have started to turn him out into the arena after our rides so that he can have a roll...which he ALWAYS does and which I know he appreciates.
OH!!! Here is the exciting news of the day....we are going xc schooling off property on Wednesday morning!!! :-) I can't WAIT. We are literally going to get his feet wet, get him into and out of the water, banks, etc. All the scary stuff that he will start to see on course once we move up...which we will hopefully do for our last event in October...all depends on how his confidence is at Equus 3D on September 12. That will be the determining factor!
That's it for now...