First things first! Some Comparision shots:
August 2012 - Lex and Riva, working on flexion
May 2012 - Lex and Riva, working on flexion
March 2012 - Lex and Riva, working on flexion
I like having a record thru the blog of progress and pictures help so much!I am looking forward to showing, twice!, in September. We are moving up to Intro C for both shows - one in Sheridan at CAF and one in Edinburgh at HHP. Maybe showing at Octoberfest in Edinburgh. Just depends on how much $ we spend at Regionals in KY in October (daughter showing!). I then plan to spend the Winter schooling to show Training Level next year.
On to Updates:
My daughter is now my only trainer. Our plan is for her to ride Riva once a week for a training ride and give me a lesson on another day. Depending on Lex's schedule, both may or may not happen weekly. Lex and I really click when she gives me a lesson - even though we both are opinionated, strong willed, always right...you get the picture. I do take instruction very well when I respect the trainer and can see the goal and results.
We are focusing on canter work in my lessons and schooling. The left lead gets better everyday. Yesterday, I schooled cueing canter all over the outdoor dressage areana - all 4 corners, down long sides, and on 20 meter circles. I even practiced canter, trot, canter on the long sides - a first for me!
The right lead canter is my real homework. Riva wants to pick up left lead canter instead. Lex worked with me last Sunday on riding a 10 meter trot circle right before asking for right lead canter - tapping with my whip to encourage the back right leg to step under. This worked well with Lex coaching me - on my own, I struggle with this. I found last night, by trial and error, that when I got a nice tempo on contact trot on the right lead - the right lead canter was there.
I now warm Riva up on the galloping track before most every ride. This gives us a nice long stretch for cantering - Riva loves it and so do I. I could not have imagined doing this last year - my confidence has increased right along with Riva's maturity. We normally cool out with another walk around the track or out around the pond at the front of the property.
Other things we have been working on - with Lex and on our own:
- leg yields
- lengthening the trot on diagonals
- walk and trot with contact - working toward canter with contact
And last, Ramblings:
My wonderful horse husband gets the first one. He is the best, really. Cleans my tack regularly, helps me from the ground when I ask (esp with making sure I am on the correct canter lead), is the greatest arena groomer (love that our BO lets him use the gator and rake whenever he wants), and listens to my ramblings!
Turnout at our barn is next. Riva is in the mare pasture, has been as long as we have boarded at the current barn (3 yrs), where there have been anywhere from 2 - 5 mares at a time. No problem with this. Riva apparently now is the alpha, since the herd dropped to just her and one little TB. There are 3 smaller pastures that house 1 or 2 horses at a time and some rearranging needs to be done and more mares moved back into Riva's pasture. BO tried putting her own mare back out with Riva and the little TB and Riva ran off the BO's mare.
BO has talked to me twice about turning Riva out with the geldings instead - large herd pastured next to the mares. I am against this and talked with her about it last night. My fear is she will get run by the geldings, mounted when in heat, beat up (or she will beat one of them up!) and end up injuring her knee beyond repair. I voiced my opinion to the BO and husband is going to talk with her about it also. I don't want to change barns - just want her to remain in the mare pasture!
Last rambling - thank you for the kind comments and congrats on my last post about my daughter showing at Second and Third Level. Love bloggers and your support :) Makes it so much easier to hear when a fellow competitor criticized Lex for getting scores toward her USDF Bronze Medal on a 'borrowed' horse. Fellow competitor that Lex scored higher than, we know very well and see very frequently. Hurtful since Lex works very hard at her riding and plans to make a career in the horse world. Lex is thick skinned, but is only18...just dissapointing.
Ok - can't end of that note! One more pic of my girls: