Our lesson went great, working on lots of leg yielding, shoulder fore, figure 8's and the like. Those went relatively well, though Coach W made two big points: 1. Stop being a suck. I'm terrible for letting him get away with bad things, and focus too much on the 'ugly' moments, rather then correcting them and making them better. I'm also hesitant to be strong when he's resisting work, which lets him get away with murder. Yes, there apparently is such a thing as too soft of hands!
2. Stop beating myself up. I apparently spend too much time focusing on the negatives and all I'm doing wrong, then be proud of what we have accomplished and focus on what we're doing well. Funny, because both my spanish language teacher and work mentor have said the same thing. Hmmm...
The end of the ride was really awesome, as we started doing a ton of up-down walk-trot transition work. FAST. With lots of outside rein, where suddenly I had this slow, steady, straight horse! And RESPONSIVE. It was truly awesome and now I just want to go around practicing it all day.
The other cool thing? He's starting to break naturally into a canter, so W thinks next week....CANTER work! OMG, I'm excited! I know it sounds dorky, but I've been avoiding his canter because I want to make sure he relearns it as slow and rhythmic. And round. W says that the fact he's starting to move into the gait naturally means he's developing the muscle and finesse to do so. Yay us! : )
He was of course, a wonderful ride, though full of spunk. W said she'd never seen so much energy in him, and that he look amazing on the ground. : ) That's my boy.
Probably helps that he was sporting a braid again, this time a sweeping french braid in his mane. Unfortunately no camera, but it looked AWESOME! He's so pretty. ; )
We have tons of homework, are doing great, and next week I'm doing a Me lesson on Tuesday (5 pm) and a Moon lesson on Wednesday (6:30 pm). : ) This is going to be awesome!
In other news, while his float has not alleviated his gapping, he was chewing the bit and stretching down a ton more. Part of me wonders if he's eating better and in turn feeling better, which is making him a happier, more energetic horse...
I did catch him licking the ground the other day, and yesterday, another horse in the paddock was doing the same thing. Up went the red flags, and now I'm trying to get a Buckeye rep. out to discuss mineral supplements. I'd love to get him on a feed that's not going to add weight, just supplement some nutrients, give him a glossier coat and help him build muscle. Now to find a day to set that up...
Other stuff? T and I both discovered (individually) the Interlake Riding Club, and are keen to join and get involved. She's headed to their trail ride at Birds Hill next weekend, and I might just join her. Plus there's a fall fun show, that I think will be Mr. Moon's first non-competitive competition, thereby meeting one of our goals for the year! : ) Actually, BHP would meet two goals for the year!
Moon's feet are less then wonderful looking, thanks to the bugs and all of the stomping he's been doing lately. He's getting some significant vertical striations, some mild vertical cracking and there's some small chunks taken out of his toes and hinds.
Kiirsten also sent me her pics of her Wintec dressage saddle she has up for sale, as she just got herself an Exselle Debut. I now find myself in a tight spot...
I'm doing dressage and loving it. I don't predict Moon and I will do much jumping in the next while, in part because I can't afford 2 coaches (W only does dressage) and the other part is how crazy competitive Hunter/Jumpers are. W told me the last show used both barns at our provincial competition grounds, PLUS they made a bunch of temporary stalls. Add that to my sincere belief that jumping requires a good dressage base, it's unlikely we'll make that transition away from dressage in the next 2 years (yes, I can't believe I committed to two solid years of dressage!).
That being said, I LOVE working on gymnastic jumping on our own and while we'll probably never be competitive, it's something we're always going to do.
I also have a potentially awesome deal on a close contact, that's probably not going to come around again any time soon. Of course, I've a limited budget, I'm trying to make the best decision on what to get...
My one sticking point, is that since I'm a lot more serious about dressage, I'd like to get a great dressage saddle. THAT is the sort of thing I either save up for, or convince the BF makes an excellent christmas/birthday present. A beautiful used Stubben or something...
So my thought is, if I'm not going to be competing in jumping any time soon, and since I won't be riding it a ton, I should put my money towards a dressage. BUT maybe I should put this small sum towards the Courbette, and then save up for a fancier dressage saddle that will carry me to the competitions next summer. While Kiirsten's saddle is in great shape and a well-known reputable brand (Wintec) and a good price, I'm probably not going to be showing in it very long. Granted, everyone needs a practice saddle, but with horse-money tight, I can only keep a certain number.
Why can't we have them all??!
It seems that my decision is to go ahead on the Courbette if I can get the shipping costs reasonable, and then search for my dream dressage saddle this Christmas. But if anyone is looking for a great practice saddle, head over to Kiirsten's page to check her's out (she's got an uber cute CC for sale as well!).
Now I'm off to the library to pick up a collection of horse training/jumping books!