Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Stay the course
Today we finally had some sun! I went to the farm ready for round 4, but hopeful for an improvement. Alex got to go outside today, so at least I had that going for me. His lunging was so much better, only one or two little moments (which is normal) and he wasn't already sweating when we started our ride -- SCORE!
Flat work was about 50 times better... little to no fighting. He did about three impressions of the cartoon above over things ranging from the barn cat to phantoms, but nothing like what I had been experiencing the past three days.
Jumping started out better, but he's still really anxious. Alex was practically launching himself at the jump not really paying attention, he bumped the jump and then because he landed long, stepped on the canter pole on the other side. This must have scared him...on next approach he tried stopping more than five strides away from the jump; stopped dead and then made a little move to rear when I pushed him to go forward. Once I got him out of being "stuck", I chased him a little to get him going forward and he jumped the cross-rail again. I decided that was enough jumps for the day, but I did ask him to walk up and around the jump, because he has started doing this thing where he stops at one end of the arena and refuses to just walk up to the jump by threatening a rear.
Though I do still feel bad about his having whacked his legs twice last Wednesday, I've come to the conclusion (again) he's a BIG BABY. I'm perfectly happy to move slowly, sticking with the cross-rail and dealing with his anxiety, but I'm over this business of Alex trying to bully me. So we'll keep on keeping on... and hopefully continue to progress.