I have canceled my lesson the past two weeks due to the heat - I haven't seen any lessons going on at our barn during that time, so pretty sure everyone else is doing the same. What does surprise me is how well Riva works in this awful heat. We are keeping the rides short, varying the routine by doing jump arena one day - dressage arena the next - just longe work - and a day completely off every few days.
Since Riva did so well last Saturday when Lex and I went out to ride in the morning, instead of the normal late afternoon / evening rides, I decided to try it again yesterday on the 4th of July. I assumed several people at our barn would be taking advantage of the day off of work and slightly cooler morning temps to ride, but I was the only boarder there.
As Tuesday evening was a dressage arena ride, I headed to the jump arena. I removed the random trot poles we had scattered around on Monday evening and left just the 4 in a row that we had previously been using. The random pole trial on Monday seemed to jazz Riva up just a little too much and she wanted to pull to every trot pole she saw!
Pictures are still from last Saturday:
I like the lift the pole work is giving her.
Yesterday, Riva warmed up quickly, seemed so focused just like she was on Saturday. I loosened her up with a nice stretchy trot, throwing in circles, leg yield on and on the fence line, and diagonal direction changes.
I decided to ask her for left lead canter before we went over the poles. I gave myself a pep talk using all the directions Alexis had given me last Saturday - get myself balanced, equal weight in the stirrups, outside leg back while I sit a beat and kiss...and off we went cantering! I have been having issues with steering on the left lead so I concentrated on squeeze and release on the inside rein while keeping my outside rein steady and at her withers. By our second attempt, I was able to keep her cantering the full arena on the left rein.
I switched to the right rein and once again, she was responsive and cantered on cue and did not veer to the inside (which was the previous issue on the right rein). We got up to two full laps of the arena on the right rein. I then was able to get a turn across the middle of the arena and about 3/4 of a 20 meterish circle.
I did take her thru the trot poles a few times on each rein and finished up with some work on stretchy trot circles. She does these fairly well at home - will see how she does at shows when we move up to training level.
My goal is to show Intro C at CAF in August. The canter circles are at A and we have to be able to pick up the gait in the first quarter of the circle and be back to trot at A. Something to work for!
I just like this trot pic :) Riva looks nice...I have more to work on - elbows back! - heels down!
In other news, my husband will be taking Riva to our vet a week from Friday for a re-check on her left knee and both front feet. She will take x-rays and determine if our farrier should continue with the corrective shoeing as he has been doing for the past year or if any changes need made. Alexis, of course, wants to know if we can begin jumping her. Our vet said last year that Riva would probably not be able to ever do more than green as grass type jumps, due to her knee. Will see what she says after the x-rays.
Happy belated 4th of July everyone!