Tonight was the first ride in the new regime. As we have our first horse trial coming up in five weeks (eeek!) Koda and I are buckling down and taking care of business. One of the biggest issues we have right now - being able to carry ourselves correctly. A major problem with this is straightness and tempo are rather difficult to carry for long periods of time. We have flashes of brilliance, but most of the time either get one or the other.
In light of this, a new training regime has been created, focusing on schooling on the flat with a jump school and a hack once a week. I'm hoping to ride 5-6 times which will mean 3-4 schooling rides on the flat, then a jump school, then a hack. Is that too much schooling on the flat? I don't want him to become sour or bored, so am willing to mix it up, but we do need to work on developing that top line and moving correctly instead of just throwing ourselves around willy-nilly.
Either way, tonight's ride was a solid school with an increase in better moments than bad ones. He's got the goods, just need to develop them. We worked on simple movements, 20m circles at trot, 10m walk circles, serpentines, leg yields, and the beginning of shoulder-in at the walk. We even had a few strides of left lead canter that felt like I was riding a side-winder, BUT the lead was there and there was some forward motion to it which was better than last time out. I've also decided to ditch the spurs for now simply because I am new to riding with spurs and with the way our rides are going, I don't want to bump him accidentally with them. When we're working outside, Koda has plenty of forward and listens to the aids a lot better than in the indoor, so spurs will stay in the trailer for now. Perhaps once I've stopped letting myself get thrown all around in the saddle they may come back out for refining, but not now.
Tomorrow, our ride will be more of the same with perhaps a touch more canter in there, but we'll see how things go. I'm teetering between getting a fantastic solid trot before going into the canter so that the muscles are half-decently built up, but am not sure if that's a good idea or not...