Figure I should get right with posting about tonight's lesson or I won't remember what all we did and why it was cool later. (For the record, last week's lesson was bareback and I was not as sore as I expected I would be the next day. Woo.)
Anyway: Tonight! We threw a lot of new stuff at Kieran, partly to make sure all this riding he's doing in the indoor stays interesting (he has a long winter of indoor riding ahead of him, and I don't want him to get sour to it) and partly a lot of the exercises we had him doing were with the aim of encouraging him to start using his hind end more and not travel as much on the forehand.
He took all of it without batting an ear. Just "...uh, this is what you want me to do? Okay! Here goes!". He's so awesome that way. :)
Things we did:
Trot poles: something he's done before, but I need to work on squeezing as we go over them so he doesn't slow down and looking forward instead of down at the poles.
Very very very low pole on a jump standard. Can't even call it a jump. Did it with crossrails and a tiny vertical. Mostly with the idea toward getting him used to going between the standards and giving him something a little higher to trot over to encourage him to pick up his feet. I did better at looking ahead with this (don't ask me why the poles on the ground are so much more interesting, LOL).
Weaving through orange traffic cones: Something he's never done before. We did it at the walk and the trot and he got the hang of it pretty quickly. I was actually surprised at how easy it was for him. Of course, in the future I'll have to remember to change my posting diagonal with each change of direction but Christina didn't get after me for that tonight. :)
A few turns on the forehand: I'd done a bit of this with him before so he got it pretty quickly. We did a couple along the wall and then tried one away from the wall which wasn't quite as pretty, but it just means it's something we should work on more.
"Rollbacks" at the trot. Basically heading down at just about the quarterline and then turning toward the rail in a tight turn and heading back the way we came. Also done first at the walk and then at the trot. Something else I was surprised at how little trouble he had (he used to stop/slow in the middle of 20 meter circles) but he didn't stop at all tonight. An exercise that was definitely intended to encourage him to really use his hind end for pushing.
Oh, and Christina had me drop my stirrups while warming up at the walk and "post" without stirrups. Then do two point without them along the long side of the arena. That's so my legs become less dependent on the stirrups as I have a tendancy to brace. But I have to say I feel so dumb doing this exercise because I don't feel like I'm actually getting out of the saddle (because I'm not, and you really can't, especially at the walk) and I figure I have to look dumb doing it. But hey, if it helps, I'll do it. :)
All in all, I was amazed at how much we managed to cram into the lesson tonight.
(I also have to say I'm kinda glad I switched to Christina even if my original reasoning was just for scheduling purposes, I feel like I'm actually getting somewhere now instead of just getting on and trotting around for a half hour. Of course, it probably helps that I'm riding Kieran with her and so a lot of it is focused toward his milestones so when we do something new with him, it feels new to me.)
*tap tap* Is this thing on?
5 months ago