Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Short and Sweet

It was calling for thunderstorms all throughout the weekend so to get out to the barn, my timing had to be perfect.  Since we don't have an indoor, or really do we have an outdoor (we have a place in the field where there USED to be a riding arena, but no more), footing can be a big issue for schooling.  I popped out on Saturday evening to see how it was and it wasn't worse for wear.  A little soft (that's fine!) but not slippery, so I pulled out a few jumps.  Now as you guys know, my jump standards are a mix of milkcrates and tires.  Luckily, the BO has brought home a few of the big yellow highway cones that they use for pony club (maybe 2') to play around with with her geldings, so I get to use them too! 

Another exercise that Linda told us we can do to help Koda and I get into a groove is ride a circle (doesn't matter how big) with a jump on it.  Once we were comfortable with that, add a second jump on the opposite side of the circle.  The idea was to ride the rhythm of the circle, no scooting afterwards or rushing/baulking beforehand.  I set the jump so that we could jump either away or towards his buddies hoping that it would help stop any type of drift is we were jumping length-wise.  To the right, Koda was an absolute dream.  I was making sure my hands were forward and up along the reins (short reins, long arm) since Sandra did say throughout the clinic to keep my elbows in front of the body.  I also wanted to make sure I wasn't hitting Koda's back on landing, so there was a lot of concentration on staying up and riding away from the jump in 2-point. 

At this point, my hip was starting to bother me again, so we took a short break and was going to go to the left a few times then call it a night.  The left was not as great as the right, but I think we can chalk that up to me trying to protect myself, and Koda not being as strong to the left.  The BO had driven into the yard at this time so I asked her to watch us a couple times.  She noticed that nothing was really going badly, just Koda scooting more so this way and I dropped my right shoulder a couple inches a few strides out of the take-off point.  We went back at it and corrected a few things, had a couple nice flowing circles and called it a night. 

Koda was being VERY careful with his hooves, clearing the fence easily (it's only 2'), and was really listening when I asked him to come back after his scooting to the left.  We even got a couple lead changes over the fence which was nice since we do tend to have problems with that in the indoor.  I think that's mainly to me not riding him forward enough when surrounded by walls.  Next on the docket for our schooling will be to up the height in some simple gymnastics (maybe convince the BO to bring a couple pairs of jumpkins home!) and more dressage work.  Every ride is being ended with a nice and easy hack down the road to just chillout and relax. 

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