Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good Ponies

Both Anna and I had lessons tonight.  Anna went first, and I talked with Jen about what I've been working on with her.  They started doing circles at the trot and canter and Anna was able to get Phoenix round and soft.  He looks so much more fluid and sound when he's round, and it makes me feel better about letting her jump him.  Jen had Anna start with some trot poles then moved her to a little line of x-rails.  Phoenix was happy to just trot along and not jump the fence, but  Jen had Anna give him a little squeeze and cluck at the base.  He finally jumped the fence and Anna was able to canter down a line for the first time.  They did a couple times and called it good.

For my lesson, we started with the draw reins on Buddy and worked on the flat on a circle.  While he's defiantly improved, I was still having a bit of trouble getting him soft and round going left.  He was a lot less combative and I felt like I didn't have to work quite as hard. 

We took the draw reins off, and Jen set the fences up.  We really haven't jumped much in the past couple weeks, mostly focusing on our flat work so the jumps were around 2'3".  After a couple warm up trot fences, we started down the line trying to have a nice rhythm and maintain the softness we had during the flat work. Once I figured out the distance to the first fence, the line flowed really well.  We then added a couple other diagonal fences fora little course. 

The right to left diagonal fence was our hard spot for the night.  It was on a slight downhill, and Bud really wanted to fall on his front end and pick up speed.  Jen had me half halt with a lot of thigh, while being fairly soft with my hand.  It worked and he backed off, but then he was too behind my leg.  We finally figured it out, and were able to have a couple decent jumps.  By that time Buddy was pretty tired so we ended with that. 

I'm glad that I can see the progress we're making and hopefully it can continue!

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