Went up and rode by myself tonight. I think I feel more relaxed if I don't have anybody else watching me. Except that then there's the pressure to come up with stuff to DO. Hah.
So tonight, I set up a few trot poles on one side of the arena by the wall and on the other side of the arena, I set up about five or six orange cones about 4 big steps apart to use for weaving through. We started the evening by just walking around, over the poles, through the cones, going both directions. Then we went through them trotting (I just went around the ring a couple times straight before going through the cones). I tried to stay cognizant through the ride of keeping steady with the outside rein and pushing him over with my inside leg when he'd want to start drifting off the wall. This is much easier to do when he's just walking than when we're trotting, hah!
We also did some transitions when I asked him to halt and he didn't want to stand for a second. So he got to walk-halt-walk-halt-back up-walk-halt. ;) We did a bit somewhere in there too of trot-halt-trot which he did really well at.
Before we both got too tired, I asked him for a canter. This time I didn't worry too much about coming out of the corner, just tried to make sure I wasn't pulling his head around to the outside, and that I really sat for the transition. And that I kept after him until he gave me what I wanted. :) I only realized after we cantered one direction a few strides that I'd asked him to do it for me his "bad" direction (going to the right) but it hadn't been as difficult as it used to be and I wasn't riding with a whip.
Then we went and did it going to the left which was much easier and once again we got a full circuit around the ring. (well, not completely full, I let him go to the inside track to avoid the ground poles :) ). I made sure each time we stopped cantering that we stopped because I asked for it and he got walk breaks in between sets.
After that, we did some other exercises, mostly at a walk, a lot to do with getting him listening more to leg and seat for turning and stopping and some more with getting him to move over toward the wall instead of in toward the center as we went around. And we had several walk-with-no-reins breaks. Really, it wasn't that long of a ride (no more than 40 minutes, I think closer to a half hour) but it was a nice one. He's, as I usually say, such a good boy.
Tomorrow is my last lesson for a while. Christina is taking a break because she's supposed to have a baby within the month. I could take lessons with the backup instructor (the trainer, Carey Reed, who put a few weeks of training on Kieran) but some external-to-horses-or-the-people-in-question issues mean I figured it'd just be better to take a break from lessons for a while. Same goes for Hilary, alas.
Hopefully, I can get things straightened out and get back to doing lessons soon but even if I don't, I'll still be riding Kieran. :)
6 days ago