Sunday, January 9, 2011

Canter in Public

After neglecting Sister's feet for too long, I met Jeff M at Che' Cheval so she could have a trim.  We did a little lunging so Jeff could see Sister's movement and then we opted to keep her barefoot for the time being.  Sister was a little longer on the right front than the left and since she was evened up, we didn't ride on Friday.

But we did have a party lesson at Patty's on Sat. morning.  I picked up Sister for the day so Splash got another day off (he is starting to think he is due to be on vacation forever).  It was cold but the sun was out and the winds were light.  Alaina had a good lesson with Sunny working on lowering the head and prompt transitions.  Pico worked well for Ivy and even gave her some lenthenings after she worked to slow down the "rush" around the arena.  Roxanne and Trouper were looking super - Morgan's have a lovely way of going.  Mallory and Mario had some lovely trot and canter and good transitions as well.  Nancy joined the lesson on Major and even cantered one direction but Kathy didn't get to ride in the lesson since Call was ouchy after her trim on Thursday.

Ivy and Roxie finished the lesson with some jumping!  Go Girls!

Sister started out a bit fresh on the lunge line and not focused for the ground tie work but we pushed through and got mounted in a timely manner (more or less).  Warming up along the rail, Sister was a bit fussy in the bridle but fairly obedient.  We all worked on collection/sitting trot on the short ends and extension/posting trot along the long sides.  I focused on straightness and bends as appropriate.  Then, we all took our turns for right lead canter. 

Alone and from the trot, I pushed haunches in and asked for right lead canter.  Sister took the canter and we cruised the arena with a couple of smaller circles.  It was great!  No kick out and prompt.  Then, we all reversed and took our turns a left lead canter.  Again alone, I tried to get haunches in and proper position and ask for canter.  It didn't develop, I lost my position, Sister lost her bend, we rushed around trying to get it together.  Not pretty.  We tried a couple more times and Patty pointed out that I was to strong with my left hand to allow Sister to canter and that I was giving to much with the outside hand which resulted in to much inside bend.  We tried again.  Finally, got the left lead canter without a kick-out and rode a couple of loops in the arena.  It felt a little rushed but Sister went where directed and dropped to trot when asked.

So, our first canter in public is history and now we will need to continue to get better transitions and more collected work.

Sunday, we got the first part of a serious cold front and the temperature stayed around freezing.  I pulled out blankets to see if any will fit Sunny and Splash in the open barn when the single digits get here Tuesday.  Splash gave me to much attitude, so we lounged until he said he would be GOOD.  Then we did some showmanship/ground-tie and he was contrite.

So, winter is setting in but I am still basking in the glow of our new years ride last weekend.  I am plotting for another ride for Ground Hog Day.  YaYa!

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