Monday, July 31, 2017

Clair at the Suzanne clinic, day two

I get the sticky change myself! Twice!

First Gwen gets on and gets it, and a little trot extension to boot.

My turn:

Since then, I've gotten that change over a ground pole several more times. Without a pole (like at the schooling show) we don't quite have it yet. So we'll keep working over the pole for the foreseeable.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A red and a blue for Dakota at the schooling show

Dakota was a superstar at today's little show. He was tense in his first test, and I missed that he picked up a wrong lead until far too late. He also seemed to forget that he really does know canter depart. Overall, though, he was such a good boy. We got a 59 on first-one for second place and a 64 on first-two for first place.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Third one at another schooling show

The judge didn't like it much -- 54.8% -- but I was super pleased with just about everything. We didn't get the sticky change, but she did change in front so that's progress. The other change was fine. Half pass needs more consistent bend. I'm starting to get a real medium trot, so that's wonderful. Overall, just really happy with my Clair mare. I'm riding Dakota in first one and first two tomorrow.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dakota at the Suzanne clinic, day one

Lots of great trot work, much improved canter departs, and trainer Gwen gets on.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

At the Suzanne clinic, trainer Gwen gets that sticky flying change!

Hallelujah! The right-to-left flying change has finally been gotten, three times in a row! Suzanne brought along trainer Gwen Packman Swanbom to this weekend's clinic, and I asked Gwen to see if she could get that sticky change. Using a ground pole, she did! I'm so relieved and excited. We also worked on some half pass. Tomorrow we'll see if I can get the change myself!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dakota shows off all he has learned!

Dakota is doing so well! R has been out of town getting married (yay, R!) for the past couple of weeks, so I've been keeping him going. He's such a fun little guy! I'm going to show him in a schooling show in ten days at first level (unless R changes her mind and decides she wants to ride after all). He's pretty solid on everything we need for first one and first two. In the videos below you'll also see the shallow counter-canter loop, shoulder in, and the start of travers.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cow-kicking update

Suzanne viewed the videos of my problematic ride last week and sent the following:

Hi! Well, I was worried when I first read the email, but I was happy, for the most part, when I actually watched the videos. Interesting! Frame is MUCH better. This makes her more athletic. This can be used against you (don't they always?). Haunches-in on the circle is much better, too. Remember to stress he proper aids - inside leg and outside rein. In the canter, make sure you are not poking her with your left heel too far back. Think of taking WHOLE leg back from he hip. Almost picture bending your knee backwards (hyper-extending) to push your heel down and not bend at the knee to take leg back. She might be reacting to too much weight on that seatbone, too. Eliz's horse, Lita, doesn't like weight on that outside seatbone back at all. Left to right changes are clean most of the time. Nice trot lengthening. We will have to work on those right to left changes. Half-halt during change. Very distinct and strong aids. Lateral balance. Possibly have to even counter bend her, but keep her going left as in leg yield.

I see marked improvement and less problems!

For the next ride I made sure to sit over my inside seat bone in right lead canter, and to keep my outside (left) leg below the knee completely off. And not a single cow-kick! Suzanne is so good at pinpointing the littlest position problem and fixing it. I've had a couple cow-kicks since then and every time realized that I was sitting too much on my outside seat bone. Mares can be very picky.

Suzanne is coming for a clinic next weekend, and the following weekend there's another schooling show. I'm going to try third-one again with Clair, and I'm also going to show Dakota first-one and first-two. He's doing so well!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

One of those rides

Step right up and see: obnoxious behavior! a big spook! cow-kicking in canter! It was just one of those rides where we never really connected. I am most concerned about the cow-kicking, which has been happening off and on for a few rides now, always in right lead. The flying change right to left still isn't really happening for us, so I wonder if she's anticipating attempting the change and getting irritated? I've tried both putting my outside leg on more strongly and also backing it off almost entirely. I don't really notice a difference either way. I'm seeking wisdom from Suzanne.