Stevie is turning into SO much fun....

We drilled flatwork, which is where I left you all....and when I say drilled I mean just established a half halt and some go commands that are just a little bit cleaner. That literally was for a matter of 10 days or so and then I got all sick with lyme and he had some time off. In the past couple of weeks he has only been out a handful of times but the time off is actually doing him some good. He is remaining relaxed and attentive and giving me some really good work and I have a blast riding him. He is willingly and easily moving laterally in the walk trot and canter and as I mentioned we have a half halt! He is also learning to stretch into contact instead of just dropping his head down, and also pick up into contact. 

I had been planning on working with canter poles in one strides and bounces and do still plan to do that but I might let him jump around a little course sooner rather than later to peek his interest again and get him back in the ball game, but we will see, we might just go for poles. 

In other news, we went on our first bareback trail ride, he was awesome.....I was not really expecting a quiet and relaxed horse but alas it's what I got, uber super! 

Maybe I can get some more photos and videos shortly....I forget if I shared with you all our dressage video, but it wont hurt to post again if so....


 
 
I think this is the question that is posing in Stevie's mind most recently - that is: what is the point of all of this useless and BORING crap you waste my life on, why can't I do that big gynmastic like the other week? 

Finally he is discovering the answer and seeing how it all ties in this week. We have been working on more structured flatwork, balance, rhythm, and overall submissiveness. In the past it has been straight, forward and as relaxed as possible but he was starting to take over a bit as he started to really like to jump...so back to the basics.

He honestly hated me for the first week I would say. He was not excited about the work and would come up with very creative evasions (he has a solid piaffe, on his own with loose reins!) many times making his own job harder...all I was asking for was a walk with a connection and we got a hot jumbled mess. Anyway, we have had quite a few lightbulb moments and now have a fairly consistent ride with the only mistakes being made where the fitness and muscle level have not quite been developed yet. 

Today started our pole work, just trotting and cantering quietly over one as a single pole and then a line of poles being very careful to make adjustments in where we went and not let his pace change within the line or on approach or depart. Sticking the poles in between standards make it "click" into place that all of this boring crap is for a reason...he know's how to jump and knows what its for, and NOW he's got the purpose behind it all. It was a great day for Steve.

Game plan from here is to get even more relaxed over the poles and keep working on our transitions as I have allowed them to get a little sloppy (because is is GREEN!) but it's time to actually work on accepting the leg and being soft...I always say a transition cannot be good until the gait itself is good....our gaits are getting there, so our transitions should be to par as well. In the potential near future we will work on striding in our lines of poles with shortening and extending and then put together bounce and one stride or two stride poles to work more on the footwork and staying balanced and straight. Eventually, and probably right in time for the ground to freeze, we can move these exercises up to real jumps and then start on putting a course together, but that won't be for any time soon! 

I am hoping to try and get some updated videos posted, 
 
 
I am taking the lazy way out this evening and will be referring you to my barn blog this evening. 

This post talks about the drastic change in way of going with the alteration of Stevie's bit for the day...I am plenty open to discussion here on the topic as well so feel free to add your input. I think it's important that we all get to learn (not to be critical and rude, of course...) but have a discussion on things like bits, training aids, and uses of all of the above. 

I would love to bore you with a repeat of the past two days rides but to sum it all up, yesterday needs to be forgotten and today can be remembered but that is how amazing the change was with the flip of one tiny piece of tack...

Read the whole blog post here