Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To the grindstone

We've kind of kicked up our work a notch. We've been lessoning a couple times a week and squeezing in a ride or two where we can. A lot of the focus lately has been on me working to feel what lead we're on without cheating by looking down and on Kieran to do some proper bending (he's much better to the right than the left).

Last Sunday we actually got our first few steps of an approximation of a counter canter! (as opposed know...just cantering around on the wrong lead).

Yesterday was both exciting and slightly frustrating.

We got some good jumping out of him (see pictures below) and we also figured out how to make a jump with the blocks that he actually respects, lol, but we mostly used the other, slightly lower, jumps and there was a lot of trotting in and cantering off on a straightaway and I had to feel what lead he landed on before we got to the rail.

The frustrating part came in near the latter half of the lesson when one of the more high strung horses on the farm noticed THAT OMG ACROSS THE NEIGHBOR'S FIELDS THERE IS ANOTHER HORSE OVER THERE I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE and took up snorting and blowing and jigging around his pasture and set off several of the other horses and Kieran thought it was a great time to get distracted and snorty himself. He even spooked when the person parked near the arena started up their engine and then decided for the rest of the lesson that side of the arena wigged him out. Tried everything to get his focus back: transitions, turns, circles....even tried spiral circles which usually does the trick but he'd do so nicely on the far side of the circle and as soon as the turn faced him with the evilscary side of the ring he'd get all bulgey and try to sidestep away. Extremely frustrating that I finally told Jessica we had to do something else to end on a good note because I could feel my tension escalating too because it was just. so. stupid.

We ended up doing a weaving figure eights pattern around the jumps set up on the centerline on a loose rein until K finally relaxed some cooperated properly.

Ugh. But anyway! Pictures!

The jump blocks are finally worthy of effort.

Catching some air.

About the time the other horse started acting up.

Note how I'm looking one way and he's only half paying attention to me?

Yep, I'm still looking one way and he's still looking at what the doofus in the pasture is up to.