Pogo has learned a lot this weekend. It is so easy to forget that he is only four and has only been undersaddle since mid January, as he approaches every work session like he's been doing this all of his life and acts so grown up in many many ways....

Saturday I decided to set a little course and just evaluate what sunk in from the previous weeks course jumping. I had thought about doing gymnastics then a course, but I thought differently (mainly due to lack of a ground crew for height adjustment) but also because he is at the point where he needs to make the mistakes to correct them, not "fix" anything before it happens, I am not sure he learns that way, yet. 

Anyway, I started by just cantering single fences, which he did effortlessly...we did about 3 or 4 warm up single fences and then right on down the line I had set. Perfectly pin straight, perfect striding, no hesitation or question. He totally had this under control. I turned to the diagonal as we had a great, rolling, unchanging pace, met the next small fence and continued on. We wound up doing a small course of 5 or so fences just like that, including a large, square oxer (that we found the proper distance to...personal pat on the back for me for not riding like a fool!!!!) I walked, (out of breath cuz I am still sick) and was astonished. He rode around the "course" better than any horse I had ridden in a long, long time. That's not an exaggeration, considering I've been only riding greenies basically since the summer! I let him have a break, did another course, which he got a little rolling on, but easily came back. I think at this point, the indoor is hard for him as the turns get a little too tight for the size of stride he would like to have, I think until he gets a little more of the appropriate muscle, this will continue to be hard, either the turning or keeping our stride smaller. Anyway, we did some trot fences to get the butt engaged, cantered a handful more fences to keep the pace smaller and called it a day.......for now.

I also got an offer from another boarder to ride her amazingly made TB hunter...I offered her a swap, more riders on Pogo the better. She hacked him around great, and even jumped a handful of fences on him. The coolest part about Pogo is he is the same horse, no matter who gets on him. To go from a very very trained and talented hunter to Pogo, who is an aspiring, not as well trained hunter, was different for her but Pogo was forgiving for the short, long, and appropriate spot she reached each time...

Onto today, we decided to work with some more canter poles and raised trot cavalletti. It soon became clear that Pogo's rateability needed work at the canter, the more he got rolling the harder it was to bring him back to that slow and springy canter he starts with. So, we did some work with that and allowing for me to help him find the distance to the pole instead of getting there on a hope and a prayer it's correct everytime (usually, it is, lucky for him, but he needs to understand what a rider wants if the situation arises and not panic when a correction is made) so I pick a poor track and make him wait or make him go long, so I can make those corrections and see what happens. 

By then end of the session he was coming back and moving on when asked and in a calm and quiet manner. We did the same at the trot and incorporated more raised cavalletti....alas, another ah-ha moment for Pogo....honestly you can feel him think and feel him understand and get the point of whatever you're asking. Once you have that feeling, it's solid and he knows it...


 





Leave a Reply.