July 11, 2010

Cruisy Weekend

Super weather this weekend - almost a shame to not have any shows on, but at least it meant I had some lovely laid-back rides in the sun and the chance to let the horses have some time with their rugs off too. Xev has dropped a bit of weight this week, so will try changing her feed around a bit (as it seems to only be since I changed their feeds when Gem arrived... though they are getting more now, but perhaps too much energy feed? Maybe she is burning it off being a silly pony in the paddock? Not sure - but will keep an eye on it). She went so sweetly today though - did some bareback riding and she is just so easy and smooth.
Neo has been a busy boy just lately. I've switched his canter aid from mostly inside leg, to mostly outside leg to ask. Hopefully this will help me in being able to use my inside leg to keep him out on the circle as he is a bit prone to falling in. He picked up the new canter aid inside of one lesson this week and has been reponding to it 100% perfect since.
I've also been working on riding him in different levels of contact. Because he has a soft mouth I have previously tended to have a really loose contact - but now I'm actively trying to push him up into a more true contact and switch between that and dropped reins or a lighter contact... just so that he learns to accept those differences without getting stressed out about it.
Yesterday I also spent some time doing what could possibly be called interpretive dance on horseback... trying to do all sorts of funny movements to really loosen up my shoulders. It felt like it was working well yesterday and I even popped him over a few fences while doing it and I was happy with how relaxed I was through the shoulder. I notice today I was stiff again though (and quite bad on Gem while jumping) - but I feel like it's worth keeping at it, at least while I don't have anyone out at the grazing who can put me on the lunge so that I can work on my shoulders that way.
Gem did heaps of crossbars yesterday and was really laid back and nice about everything. Good flying changes too, and by about halfway through the session she was starting to come back to being nice and tidy in front (she knows what those crossbars are for!).
Today she was much stronger though - and not listening to me very well.. but she's only really been back in work such a short time, so can't blame her for getting a bit excited! You can see in these pics below about my shoulders being stiff and me not giving properly over the fence too. I will keep working on it!
A nice day to be out riding though - hopefully more good weather on the way too! And thanks to Nick for taking the photos today.

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