I am so so excited to be taking lessons again. Like real lessons, where we really work on stuff. You guys are probably sick of hearing “how excited” I am about every little thing- but I can’t help it. #sorrynotsorry
I had a lesson on Friday with MM, she rode him Saturday, and then another lesson on Sunday. Rio had to work HARD 3 days in a row, and he was basically perfect. We are focusing on strengthening his canter, and trying to convince him that he CAN canter with his head/neck/poll UP, and step under a bit with his hind end. I literally think “Up, Up, Up” like every 2-3rd stride. If I become complacent and settle in the the easy routine of the “soft ride” he drops behind my leg and hand and curls his neck.
In short, our work may not be textbook pretty these days, but it’s purposeful. We are enjoying “the suck” as some say, and looking forward to end result. It is hard for Rio (and me!), but I am excited about essentially changing the way he carries himself, and I can’t wait to see how that reflects in his jumping.
During both lessons we basically did the same exercise- canter on some semblance of a circle going over ground poles/caveletties/tiny jumps at a distance apart that is somewhat uncomfortable (aka short) for Rio. As MM likes to remind me, Rio is HUGE, has a HUGE step, and will always make a line look easy. He needs to learn to shorten that stride, because I doubt we will ever actually need to push for the step.
In an ideal world, he would have his poll higher then his withers at all times, and would rock back on his butt for poles/jumps/etc. In the real world he would prefer to put his head on the ground and step every these tiny obstacles. With careful guidance though, he is getting better every ride. I am so proud of him and his work ethic. He has been game to play every day, even with the increasing difficulty of the exercises.
We are far from perfect, and have some ugly moments- but I am proud to show off our progress!
Lesson on Friday 10/20:
Lesson on Sunday 10/22 (We upgraded to some tiny jumps at the very end!!!):
As I am sure you can see, this exercise is definitely hard for us. It was also really rewarding when we got around the whole circle correctly. I was also very pleased to hear that he was a total angel for MM and tried very hard for her as well!