On Saturday I had the barn to myself and decided to go for it and set up a cross rail and a set of trot poles in the indoor. Our indoor is too small to have both set up if I have to share the arena, and since most of the other boarders don't jump I feel it's not fair to them if I take over the space with jumps. We worked back and forth over the poles to warm up, stopping on a straight line and doing turns on the forehand or haunches to reverse. McKenna was great, kept a nice rhythm and pace over the poles and didn't get rushy.
|Queens of awkward trot fences|
I then added trotting the cross rail and stopping on a straight line. Again, she started out great before the fence, but was dragging on my hand in the stop. I finally let her hit the wall with her nose and then she seemed to get to the point. McKenna did start getting bold going to the fence after a few times, but a couple small circles with random halting fixed that. My friend showed up towards the end of our ride and was kind enough to snap a couple pics.
Sunday we had a lesson scheduled with our chiropractor/dressage instructor. She watched us warm up, then readjusted the German martingale, lowering it on McKenna's neck so it sat more like draw reins coming from the girth, and moved the clip from the first d-ring on the reins to the second, giving me more leverage. McKenna was not amused.
The main focus of the lesson was getting McKenna to over bend and work deep in a frame. She wanted to be stuck behind my leg so Tina had me post on the wrong diagonal to help encourage her inside hind to step up. It took a good 10-15 minutes of trotting to really get her to where she needed to be. Tina told me to think about getting my inside seat bone on her stifle to help push her into my outside rein. I'd never heard that before, but it helped. We did lots of walk breaks and changes of direction and except for one mini spook she was really well behaved. We also schooled some turns on the forehand, trying to keep a forward feel.