1. Walk to canter transitions (they are there, but usually only when she’s feeling fresh)
They are there! We still have some fussy swishy tails sometimes, but O is much more responsive and happy with them.
2. Getting a nice square halt from the trot.
Halt-we are awesome at this. Getting it square is a 50/50 experience still. Hopefully that will continue to get better.
3. Nail the quick/simple changes, and be more objective about setting her up for flying changes.
We are quick changing pros! Every so often I also get a decent flying change, but I’m not really pushing for them yet. Very happy with this one.
4. Ride at least 3 times a week weather permitting with lots of trot work.
When it was over 15 degrees and not an ice storm I owned this task! We mostly rode 4-5 times a week and O was better for it.
5. Do more stirrup-less work at all gaits.
I did do some work with this but overall I was a weenie about it until I got reprimanded by my trainer. More of this work on the horizon.
High points of the month:
Purposeful flying change for O
My readjustment of carriage, while it hurts and is hard still, I can feel when it’s wrong.
Cutie pootie jumping skills by O
Introducing and enforcing a half halt on course
Super fun and random snow day photo shoot
Overall I couldn’t be happier with how things are going. Our first show is a little over a month away and I’m so ready to get out there.
Every equestrian probably goes through the same stages (somewhat) of working, then upping the anty, working harder, then enjoying the rewards. Of course we then start all over again. I feel like O and I are definitely in the upping the anty stage, as each lesson we are pushing harder and asking bigger, harder questions. I’m really proud of my little mare, and even though it’s a ton of work at this point, I can’t wait to see how far she’ll go.
Personal victory of last night: We did the add stride everywhere and she was so light in my hands. It. Felt. Amazing.