Sunday, June 25, 2017

Very first try: third level test one

We got a very generous 58% on our first try at third level test one! I'm so pleased. All mistakes were my own -- especially my choice to simply hand-walk Clair in her home arena once it was set up with judge's stand in place. She snuffled everything and seemed fine with it, but when I sent her down center line I could feel she was looky, unfocused, and just not through. I should have schooled her under saddle during the lunch break. Live and learn!

Half passes were too labored, trot and canter mediums and extensions were not defined enough, canter was a bit of a rodeo overall, and she jigged in extended walk. But we got our flying change left to right, hallelujah! And overall I feel like we look very close to being ready for third level. It's nice to have a third level test under my belt just for psychological reasons.

Yay, Clair mare! Love my girl.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day ride

Just throwing it all out there. Flying changes left to right are coming along swimmingly; the other direction is coming along not at all -- sigh. Patience. We've only just begun. Oh, and she tripped and almost went down at the walk for no apparent reason except a possible tumbleweed sighting.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! and a little baby passage

Clair and I had a BLAST during Suzanne's lessons. I learned how to ride with the whip pointing straight up, making it easier to give a pop on either side, especially when Clair is blowing me off. I gave her a good pop to wake her up, and then after that all I had to do was wave the whip in her sight line and she would give me lots of forward.

We also worked on Clair's very first flying changes. She was SO good. She didn't get excited or on the muscle. We didn't get a clean change in either direction, but both ways we did get a couple late-behind changes. I was thrilled with these first attempts. Such a good mare. Also, she gave me a teeny bit of baby passage when we stopped to switch directions. Fun!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dakota starts counter canter

Suzanne May was in town for Mother's Day weekend to meet up with her son, who is considering moving here from Minneapolis. We didn't have a full-on clinic, but Suzanne taught three lessons each day. Everyone did so well! R and Dakota started learning the shallow counter-canter loop from first-three. To the right they really got it! The left still needs some work, but isn't that always the way? They had some gorgeous trot work as well.