Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lesson In Review

Well, seeing as today is Thursday morning ... Yup. Yesterday was lesson day. I'm going to try hard (I know I've said that before, but I mean it this time) to keep this blog up to date.

So, Gus and I had our lesson again yesterday. This time, we actually had a full hour lesson (well, in actuality, it was 45 minutes as Gus isn't up to par to go the full 60 minutes). After the typical 10-15 minute lunge session, we got to work right away on a 20m circle. B had placed four cones at each "major" point on the circle, so that we could, in effect, spiral in on a 15m and 10m circle. And basically, that's exactly what we did.

At the trot, we worked a lot on getting Gus round (which was EASY going to the left yesterday, to the right it was fairly typical ... I had to work on getting Gus to stay round) and moving out. The biggest issues we faced happened when Gus would get unbalanced. He would then pop out through his outside shoulder and end up basically on his forehand. That's a huge no-no in dressage. I did manage to catch him most of the time though. And B's mantra for the day was "Keep Gus straight relative to the movement". So on a circle, don't ask for too much bend, because I'll end up with bend in the neck but the outside shoulder popping out and the hind end trailing.

Getting back to the spirally circles though ... Basically, we trotted a 20m circle, then a 15m circle, then a 10m before spiraling back out onto the 20m circle. Once we hit C, we trotted the whole arena aiming for a nice big trot (think "working" trot crossed with a "medium"). Rinse and repeated twice both directions, changing across the diagonal.

We didn't want to push Gus in the canter yet, so most of our canter consists of just a few minutes canter, both sides. Yesterday we worked on a 20m circle and 12-15m circle. The goal was consistency throughout the gait. We had a nice left lead canter last night, right But last week, what little bit we did, was WAY better to the right. So, least I know it's in there, somewhere. The exercise we did last night was canter the spirally circles, then trot a 20m circle, then trot around the arena, rinse and repeat both directions. We did this twice.

B noted that Gus was really "blinky" last night. We aren't sure what was causing that, but after last week's "bright eyed and bushy tailed" look, this was definitely new. He had his fly mask on and he still is eating his supps (so he's getting the aspirin), and it wasn't any windier out yesterday - especially compared to previous days. Who knows? He was also stumbling A LOT yesterday, mainly in the front it seemed but B also saw it in the hindend. If he had started stumbling towards the end of my lesson, we would have chalked it up to him being tired. However, he was stumbling from the get-go. Again, who knows? With Gus, anything is possible (and probable).

Plan is to ride again tomorrow morning. I had originally thought about riding again today but I've got a lot of errands to run and with Father's Day this weekend, I need to get some things done (namely, cleaning house).

I HOPE to get photos on Friday of the boys ... B's got a new outdoor arena that I can toss Gus into once we're done working, so maybe I can get some photos that way? We shall see.

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