Amanda in a shadbelly looking very military
Anyway, Ashke and I were able to show off our newly found ability to ride a half pass at the walk for several steps before we lose it. In both directions. Amanda was properly impressed with us and our working on stuff in between lessons. She said she should go away more often, but I told her no.
We worked on serpentines w-t-w and then t-c-t. It took a few minutes but he finally started listening to my seat again. He had been stuck in the stall all day and was feeling a bit forward. Not bad, just energetic.
We did some shoulder in and then worked on pieces of my test to make sure he was listening and where we needed him to be. He did very well. Then we worked on something new, where I asked him to extend his trot and then come back to more controlled trot. Once he was doing that well, we moved to the canter. The theory is that if I can get him to understand that he can have short bursts of speed then come back to a more collected/controlled/slower canter pace, we can apply that training in our EOH/Speed rounds. He figured out the game really quickly.
One of the things I've heard from trainers and judges is that horses can perform better during the speed round because we get out of their way. In EOH we are trying for precision and exactness, but that also means that sometimes we are our own worse frenemy and we get in our horse's way. I know that Ashke and I struggle with him fighting me when we are approaching obstacles. Teaching us both that we can open up a little, then come back to a more precise method of movement will help us communicate better. Hopefully, it will also improve our EOH course.
Finally, we put up a cavaletti to practice a jump over. It looked like this:
borrowed from the interwebs
In reality it was really more like this:
And measured just under Amanda's knees.
Yes, we are jump wimps. But, we didn't die!!!
Ashke did a great job of finding the jump, figuring out his steps and going over. I did better at staring at the rafters, burying my hands in his mane, and getting my butt out of the saddle going over. I even got a "that looked great" from a bonafide 3.6 jumper (I think she was being kind, but it was much appreciative). Hopefully, if there is a jump in our course this weekend, we will be able to sail over it like an Olympian.
Keep us in your thoughts on Friday and Saturday.