Monday, December 29, 2014

We Do Stuff & Things

It's been hard scheduling lessons with my regular trainer for the past few weeks, and I've been feeling like I'm spinning my wheels with what to do with McKenna.  We walk-trot-canter, try not to have expoldy baby moments, maybe add some pole work in but generally its the same day to day.

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.
Our canter work followed the trot work, only less of it.  The over bending and deep work really tired her out quick in the canter so if we got a couple good circles we called it good. We only rode for a half hour but both mine and McKenna's butts were kicked! We're going to try and have Tina back in a month or so for another lesson.

You can see her mini buck/tail swish about half way through the video, as we are cantering along the far wall. It feels bigger than it looks.


  1. i know exactly what you mean about feeling a bit at sea after a while without lessons... it's definitely frustrating... McKenna looks great in the video and pictures tho!! (bucking swishiness aside lol) - glad it was so productive!

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