Thursday, September 20, 2012

Western Dressage, English-style

Well, yesterday I had another nice lesson on Gus. We're working him in a more "western dressage" style frame and mindset. Frame may be too harsh of a word, but basically we're aiming for a more down, round and slow job then a more powerful trot. And Gus is finally getting it. Success!

After an extended lunge session, due to Gus being off in the left fore (long toes perhaps?), we cleared him to work to see if we could work though whatever it was that was bothering him. Gus being the trooper he is, didn't have any problems once he was sufficiently warmed up.

Trot work consisted of lots of serpentines again. First we did three-loop, then four-loop and finally, ended with a five-loop serpentine. I've never done a five-loop serpentine, let alone in the tiny indoor arena (it's 20 x 40). Gus was really good for the trot work, least once he figured out what it was I was asking for. Carrying a majority of his weight on his hindend was NOT something that Gus enjoyed, but he was a good sport nonetheless.

Canter work was fairly simple and meant to be easy. It consisted of cantering on the second track down the long sides and then trotting the short sides. Problem was, going to the right Gus kept falling to the outside and pulling like a freight train. I was able to fix that with some creative use of the dressage whip - mainly on Gus's left hind and rump. Worked like a charm. Going to the left, we had a whole 'nother set of issues. Gus was bracing against the bit and trying everything he could to just be an a**. Thankfully, he figured out rather quickly that it was less work and less effort to just behave and go like the good horse I know he is, rather then behave like a green 3 year old.

Gus STILL has not been reset. He is supposed to be reset (9 1/2 weeks later) tomorrow. I guess I'll find out over the weekend, when I'm out next, if he was done or not. Due to the extreme wind we had yesterday (sustained winds of 30+ mph, gusting upwards of 40) I wasn't able to get any photos of Gus. I'm hoping to do so on Monday.

Also on Monday is CLIPPER time. I can't wait. Actually, I can wait. But, hopefully this year I'll be more successful. I just spent $100 on four new clipper blades and plan on giving Gus a very warm, sudsy bath on Sunday. I'll definitely have photos to post pre- and post- clipping. Stay tuned.

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