Saturday morning I woke up to slightly snow covered roads, not to mention I'd been out a wee bit late the night before, so I opted for a lazy morning hanging out at the house until things cleared up a bit. Early afternoon I piled on some layers and headed out to work Alex. This would be three days in a row of riding and I was really hoping to see some progress.
Overall he was much better about the potential boogie men that he sees from time to time and finally settled into some decent "baby" flat work. As I mentioned in a previous post, we've been working over a trot-pole. When I was first starting serious jumping with Gryff, I picked up 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider by Linda Allen & Dianna Dennis, and have found it to be a great resource. I'm really trying to give Alex a strong foundation for jumping, so I am really taking my time with his basics. It has been good for me too, gives me time to reinforce, correct some of my own habits over non-scary obstacles. I've started Alex through the basic exercises from the walk and trot. Lately we have been working on:
Exercise #4 - The Single Trot Pole in Two-Point Position
*There's no diagram for this one, it's just trotting back and forth over a trot pole in two-point*
Exercise #3 - The Long Figure 8 Over a Single Ground Pole
(the * = focal points)
Although he was a little hesitant about the pole at first, he has quickly gained confidence. He is now being a little "rushy" to get to the other side, as if he is saying "yeah, I got this, let's get going!" and seems to "perk up" when trot-pole work starts. Hopefully this enthusiasm with continue when I change to another exercise :-)
*Please note: these are reproductions of the diagrams in the book. I didn't want to violate copyright laws. Sorry, I know they aren't as pretty :-)