The weather is deliciously cool which makes being outside and training a delight.
GOAL: build on canter-walk transitions, improve canter collection
OUTCOMES: After his big reward with canter-walk transitions, he was quite sticky in the canter. He wanted to drop down to walk and receive his reward. Needing to reestablish the idea of “forward,” I changed my riding plan. The warm-up was lots of straight lines, (long sides and diagonals) at trot to develop a nice forward, well connected horse. To test the connection and confirm the outside rein, we worked laterals: leg yield, shoulder-in, and tranvers. With Monarch nicely forward and connected, we cantered on long lines, using the diagonals to change leads through the trot. I used sugar cubes and praise to communicate his correct, forward, and prompt canter responses.
REFLECTION: It’s amazing how much they remember from a big reward. In one way the big reward from the other day backfired, but on the other hand, the transition will be there when he is ready to be collected. My positives for the day’s training were the nice changes through the trot on the diagonal.
GOAL: continue to build the idea of forward with cavaletti work
OUTCOMES: The grid was built at 4’4″ with 4 poles. Each time we went through, Monarch became sharper and more through, creating a nicely connected, forward horse. The jump was a change of pace from dressage training, resulting in a nice light canter.
REFLECTION: Studying pp 46-58, I noticed that in many of the photos, the rider maintains contact, and in some of the exercises, the rider even sits the trot with contact over cavaletti. As I began gridwork, I released the reins, as for a jump. The work was a bit sloppy. Then I remembered the photos of the horse with contact, and I realized that I was “dropping” my horse. As I kept an elastic, steady contact, I noticed my horse becoming more connected and through. I learned that contact, even through the grid improved the stride. The only release I gave was at the jump.