Thursday, December 19, 2013

Off The Rails

Considering how little I've ridden or worked the horses in the past few weeks, McKenna was awesome in our lesson last night.  I lunged before getting on, making sure she got her bucks out.  To warm up Jen had us do some baby leg yields at the walk.  Usually I do leg yields from the quarter line to the rail, but in doing that McKenna would pop her shoulder and fake it.  But going from the rail to the quarter line, she would stay connected and actually leg yield. 

In our trot work McKenna's been a bit sassy, flipping her head to avoid contact or bending.  Every time she did that, I was to circle her and ask for bending and softness.  As soon as we turned away from the rail she would quit the head flipping and become so soft and round.  We did a lot of circling, sometimes only going two or three steps straight along the long sides before circling again.  Right now her biggest issue is that she leans to the outside and wants to use the rail as a crutch and not bend her body.  By working her off the rail and doing random circles she has to listen to me as to where we are going and how to bend and use her body.

Along with that, we did some changes of direction across the diagonal lines.  Going right to left, she'll move off my left leg and change the bend pretty well.  Left to right is much harder.  She wants to pop the outside shoulder and when I put my right leg on to ask her to move over she gets excited and tries to canter.  We went back and forth working on having a strong half halt with both reins, then asking her to move over with the right leg while opening the left rein. It got better but it's definitely something we'll have to work on.

I had asked Jen for some pole exercises to do since I know I get bored with baby flat work and I'm pretty sure McKenna does too. She set up a baby 6inch crossrail in the center of the ring at X and told me to circle over it.  We started to the right, McKenna's better side, and the first time she looked at it but wasn't scared or worried.  More of a "Huh, that's new" type of thing.  I admittedly was a bit nervous of how she'd handle it so I didn't give her the best ride and let her get crooked and a bit behind my leg but McKenna just trotted right over it, no problem.  We came back around a few times till we could get the right approach and every time she just stepped right over. 


Proud of her first "jump"
We changed direction and the first time going left we had some steering issues after the crossrail and almost ran into the wall.  Oops.  But the second time was much better and by the third time I had her exactly where she needed to be.  We'll start working that exercise into our routine and the next step will be to figure 8 over it, making sure to get a nice change of bend.

2 comments:

  1. McKenna is so cute! She has this look like "I think this is a big deal, but I don't know why..." haha

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