Here’s the lesson update! (With pictures!)
We worked on Forward. Forward only! Of all issues, that’s the one needing to be addressed first.
On my own, some of the problems I’ve had with starting Cooper in dressage are:
Undbendable. Very resistant and tightening in the neck in the walk. Even tighter at the trot. The canter – a sort of crazy flight around the arena, with a stop at any given time.
All green horses are this way – initially incapable to canter bent along the inside leg, or even to keep the canter for 2 full circles. The challenge will be figuring out how to show him how to do it a bit more comfortably. A learning experience for me too. So much fun!
The first several rides, weeks, he felt very unsure of himself – as if not really knowing what was expected of him.
Now he seems to have found his place, calmer.
He’s used to the grooming and tacking business, with mounting and leading. Some cute routines too, he can park by himself at the garden bench for dismounting. Just silly, but useful, it really helps my ankles getting off from there.
Semi slow arena work improvement – I’ve taken advantage of the big grounds we have around the farm, and he’s had many rides out and about, walking the hills and just being happy in general. Not day after day in the arena.
Some mixing it up with a little walking over 4 ground poles. He’s not the most coordinated. It’d be nice to work up to trotting over them too.
MONDAY”s lesson – no work on Any of the things just mentioned. Riding forward only. And more forward. I even got a quick video clip of him trotting, so I could see for myself that he was still not forward enough. Amazing. It felt like it was all he could do…
To start, a few minutes riding with contact. Sucking back, of course. My fault. Always my fault.
The rest of our time – working on getting the legs to engage. Mostly with the nose all stretched out. A few good seconds here and there. Here is one of them. OK fine, he’s still pretty strung out. But he’s working here!
Some crazy bat flying canter for good measure.
Haha, eventually we’ll get it together!