Just a couple of short clips from today. The whole lesson was really a lot of hard work. We started by doing figure 8's in each half of the ring (so figure 8's on the top half, then figure 8's on the bottom half) at a trot. Which was harder than I thought, to really get the circles round and not make one small and the other big (i wanted to do a long diagonal between them instead of making them circles that happen to touch). After that, Jessica had use the whole ring to do canter figure 8s (with a few trot strides in the middle, we don't do flying changes yet!) and that was even harder because I really had to plan how I was going to make my canter turns and when to trot in the middle and ask for the other lead canter. That's our homework for the week.
Then she had us canter over some canter poles, down to the fence, come back to a (forward) trot and around over a crossrail with the idea that the canter poles would remind Kieran to pay attention to his feet (we don't keep cantering because she doesn't want us cantering into fences yet). That crossrail he doesn't really like though because it's pretty airy and bare (balanced on a couple of traffic cones, I can't wait until my jump blocks get here!) so he never puts in much effort over it. The other crossrail where we use barrels laying on the ground as "standards" he tends to actually jump (instead of trotting over and hanging his feet) because it looks more solid.
So then we had to canter around down to the barrel crossrail and all I was supposed to focus on was encouraging him forward (she stresses "allowing" and not pushing, because we can't make him think this is a fun thing to do) and just staying straight and getting out of his way when we go over.
That was one of the first times over the barrel jump. Then we had a couple of awkward tries and then we ended on this note:
4 days ago