I should really start off by saying that the 'next step' should really be for me to update my blog more regularly....the past several weeks have been somewhat busy for me in the office and my best friend's wedding in in 3 weeks, so there is a lot going on.
We had a lesson on Saturday afternoon, so I figured now would be a good time to start to try and be more consistent in my blogging.
I'll back-track...on October 9, 2010, Chester and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary!! Amazing isn't it?! The profile picture for this blog was taken a couple minutes after we brought him home for the first time. I will have to try and update it tonight if I remember and post a new one. I can not believe the difference in this horse from a year ago. What a year it has been too. For those people who religiously follow my blog, you would know it went something like this - excitement - frustration - breakthrough - heartbreak - triumph...rather then rehash old memories, I will leave it at that. As the season is over!!! which makes me sad - but then again the fact we were event able to have a 'season' is an accomplishment - but it also gives us the winter to bring Chester to the next level of his (and mine) education.
Joyce rode Chester for 20 minutes on Saturday - and it is soooo nice to have someone ride my horse so I can see what he really looks like when he works. ESPECIALLY when that someone is Joyce. She is truly a talented rider and I am extremely lucky to have her be such an important part of mine and Chester's lives. Basically, we are at the point now where we are to ask him for MORE...MORE trot, MORE engagement, MORE responsiveness, MORE EVERYTHING...where before it would take 4 or 5 steps for a powerful forward trot to happen from the transition, now we are wanting that forward/powerful trot from the second I ask...Oh. My. God. It is a lot harder then you think. Especially when the Boss is telling you to 'lighten your seat'...and how the hell do I do that exactly?! Chester - is not of fan of this new chapter in his education. He basically has a hissy fit, gets pissed, bucks, throws his head in the air and proceeds with a temper tantrum...think about it though - would YOU want to work HARDER at something you were good at already? Not likely. So, my job as his rider, rather then to say 'okay take the 4 or 5 steps you need to get going' is to get after him from the get-go and MAKE him have that forward momentum...he hates it. And we fight about it and he has his tantrum and then he sort of gives up and says 'FINE, I'll DO IT'. If we could actually 'talk' it would be a love hate sort of conversation I am sure.
So, my goal is to again ride better (which there is noticeable improvement for the record) and make him work better/harder. Over the winter, we will work on our flat work and do some of the hunter schooling shows...we'll only jump once or twice a week at most. He is a GREAT jumper, is very brave and when we work on our flat, the jumping will get even better. Right now - the goal is to start off in April at Pre-Training and move up to Training in the fall...then again - I also thought we would have spent the entire summer at Pre-Training and be prepping for Bromont in June 2011 over the winter...horses...they bring you either such joy or such heartbreak...I wouldn't have it any other way though.
More soon - and by soon I mean tomorrow after we school tonight! (in which I am attempting to master sitting Chester's trot...which is basically impossible.)