What have I been doing these past 2 weeks? Riding. A lot of riding. Working a lot on dressage to get the TWH show ready. Mix in a good amount of fitness so that he can canter 4-5 minutes without being completely out of breath and it adds up to a lot of riding. We are getting there fitness wise, he can do 3 minutes of a nice FORWARD canter without sounding like he is ready to pass out so we are progressing. The collected canters are easy, it is the forward, faster ones that drain the TWH's gas tank.
I think when I blogged last I was talking about my pending jumping lesson. How did that go you ask? Pretty well I would say! The TWH did really well in the bigger arena and while he technically refused one fence, H said it was a miscommunication as he thought we were going around it instead so I shouldn't get after him too badly. I did kick and kick and kick and kick, put him a tight circle and had him jump the little 2' jump from almost a standstill before I moved on and he gave no more refusals the rest of the day. He handled all of the jumps really well, even when going in the more forward canter. Here are some small video clips of it too!! (note due to my extremely slow internet and video taking forever to upload, these are small snippets)
Our dressage is coming along, we are working really hard on 3 items right now. Our canter to trot transition on a straight line, 10m circles (to head up the centerline) and our freewalk. Since the beginner novice dressage test has you turn the corner, trot before the middle of the arena and then turn in a 10m circle up the centerline at the end of the arena, we don't have a lot of time to perfect the trot before we have a new move. Who am I kidding, there is no time! Thus the 2-4 shuffle steps he has been taking really need to disappear and I am pretty confident they won't appear in our test with the progress we have made.
The 10m circles are getting a good bit better, I worked on them tonight actually. The TWH likes to do one of two things, push off and pivot around the corner, almost like shying away from the corner, or he will break gait as he makes the turn. Since neither are an ideal scenario it has required a good bit of work to fix and it is getting there. He is no longer pivoting, who am I kidding-just not doing it most of the time, and as long as he isn't tired he is keeping his gait. Hopefully we will get there!
Finally is the freewalk, the freewalk is actually a really good gait for him because of his nice swingy, overreaching flatwalk. The issue is that I need him to stretch forward and downward while he does it which is the opposite of what he likes to do in the flatwalk. Ugh horse! This is actually the one piece I am not sure how well we will fix before the show, I can get the walk, I can get the forward and I can get the downward. I just can't get all three of them at once. We are still working on it however, I think if I can get the walk and the forward stretch it should be sufficient enough. I hope.
Hopefully I will find time to post a about my Rolex trip next Monday or Tuesday, I am really looking forward to the vacation. If not you may just get a condensed version and then have a post about cross country schooling on the 4th and the show on the 5th. Wish me luck!