It may be President's Day Weekend, but sadly, I don't get Monday off. But the girs do, so we will try for a lesson late afternoon to give them a chance to practice one more time before the Will Rogers Classic. I plan to meet the gang at Patty's and get a quick ride in on Splash too.
Poor Splash got to work Friday and Saturday, not surprisingly, he didn't run to the gate to meet me when I went to catch him this morning. He didn't run away either. So, we loaded up and headed to Cheval Lake on the most beautiful Sunday in February. Mallory worked Sister on "one-rein" stops (trot only) but Sister is resistant and not happy in her work. She still expresses herself with tail swishes and even a kickout - she is not an easy mare and I will refrain from saying evil mare. She is still a green mare. Splash and I concentrated on trot and leg yeilds after warm up and brief canter both directions in the deep, sandy arena. Our halts need a lot of work but at we no longer back at every halt.
The girls started their ride in their western tack and all three were cantering merrily before Mallory and I could get up the hill to get started. Fairly soon, Roxy and Ivy went to swap to English so they could JUMP! Alaina watched until she couldn't stand it and swapped to English too. Sunny CAN jump. Roxy/Trooper jumped Fri/Sat/Sun, Ivy/Pico jumped Sat/Sun, and Alaina/Sunny jumped on Sunday. Roxy is working to slow and steady Trooper so he doesn't rush the jumps. Ivy needs to help Pico have confidence to really jump and made good progress this weekend. Both Ivy and Roxy rode an 8 jump course at Patty's including the scary barrel jump. Sunny is willing and Alaina needs to work on her balance to help Sunny land balanced. It looked like they were having to much fun.
Now, about that left diagonal. If I am not paying attention, I always come up on the right diagonal. This is probably because Splash is stronger on the left hind. So, on Friday, Roxy and I worked on getting left diagonal first try during our equitation practice. My method is to chant "up - up - up" with the left shoulder as we approach the transition. After a couple of tries, I was getting it every time - except - when Splash would throw in a mini canter stride. Was he trying to push me onto the right diagonal or was he just slipping into canter because I was pushing for impulsion?
At the Saturday Party Lesson, Splash had really good canter work - correct leads every transition and only one dropped canter while on the right lead. He feels better all the time at Patty's - he seems to like the footing. At Mallory's, he really labors in canter work in the deeper sandy footing. Our arena has deep and solid areas and Splash goes well in the solid areas and labors in the soft spots.
In addition to 3 sessions of equine therapy, I also got to see a musical, Deer Camp, with my YaYa Sisters on Saturday evening. It was a silly presentation about 4 men who go deer hunting every year but never really hunt. They are just hanging with their buds drinking beer and teasing each other. Very enjoyable and a good way to celebrate Nancy's birthday. Spring is almost here so I hope to have a YaYa Trail ride soon.