Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Thursday!

Which means two things.

1. Yesterday was lesson day.
2. Tomorrow is Friday.

Yesterday's lesson, to sum it up in one word, was amazing. It all started off like it usually does - me hurrying to get to the barn before my lesson starts at 6pm. I managed to get to the barn and get Gus ready all before the start of my lesson. Even managed to get in the arena about 5 minutes early. Whohoo.

We began, as usual, with lunging. First without side reins and then with them attached in their new found position (high at the dee rings and low between Gus's front legs). B really wanted me to get after Gus to keep him from dropping behind the vertical and losing contact. I tried as best I could to keep up the impulsion from the hind end, but that's easier said then done when you've got a horse who tends to ignore the whip.

B ended up setting up two cavalletti, about 18 feet apart, raised on one end. Perfect distance, least for this old, stiff and arthritic horse, to canter through. And boy did he hate me for that. But cantering through those poles really did help him lift his front end and put more weight on the back end. After cantering the poles, we had a nicer trot.

After doing probably a good 20 minutes of lunge work, we started the undersaddle part of my lesson. Yesterday's lesson consisted of making Gus really round at the walk, to begin with. Then we proceeded to the trot, keeping it a nice, compact trot with lots of bounce (attempted to get the bounce... didn't always have it). From there, we proceeded to do a leg yield from quarter line to the rail, 10m circle at the rail to shoulder-in until the corner. Rinse and repeat.

It eventually evolved into LY, circle, haunches-in. The haunches-in though, was a lot more difficult going to the left then it was to the right. Gus, while moves better to the left, is much more bendable going to the right. Go figure. So the haunches-in to the left ended up more of a head-to-the-wall first, then I was able to ever so slightly adjust the bend so it was more of a truer bend.

Canter worked followed next. That ended up being short and sweet, because by now Gus was exhausted. He had a mini puff break after the lunge work (he was huffing and puffing from that), but he never did get his 5 minute walk break like he normally does. We both were a bit tired by the time we made it to the canter. So yesterday's canter work consisted of true canter. We did nice big 20m circles and doing a simple change of lead at X. We did try a few easy 1 loop serpentines, but Gus had other plans and kept swapping out leads. I now forget which direction he kept doing that on ... seems to me it was on the left lead, and B commented on the nice right lead canter he had last night.

In other news, we're back to no yawning again ... and no weird head twitches either. Not sure what's up with that, as nothing has changed except Gus being worked consistently in his BoB bridle (Hampton). Next week, Dr. K is out so hopefully she can straight Gus out again.

On Sunday, our barn is hosting it's first (in FOREVER) quadrille practice. I'm excited. Gus and I are going to play along, so it should be a lot of fun. Organized chaos, ya know?

No comments: