I have essentially nothing new to report, although I have been having fun rides. Head trainer, and assistant trainer J were out of town last week showing at Brownland in Tennessee. I lessoned with assistant trainer S, and we had a fun and straightforward lesson.
We started out fine over poles and a caveletti, but once we got jumping it was a bit rocky. The jumps were super small, and lines that we had already done in a few lessons. I think I just kind of went on autopilot, expecting it to happen effortlessly. Ya well… that just does not work for Rio. Maybe some horse you can “point and shoot” and get perfect distances with a perfect canter, but not Rio (at least not yet in his career).
Our main issue is canter quality, and it will always be our main issue. As the temps raise and his energy level goes down, getting that quality, self carrying-canter might become harder. It was pretty warm and sunny on Saturday, and our canter was much fmore of a tranter (aka 4 beat canter) in the beginning.
I get it Rio, you are 18 hands and don’t have perfectly balanced conformation, yet I want you to canter with a slow, steady, sweeping gait. This does not come easy or natural for you. But, tranter is just not a thing. Sorry bout’cha.
When we are heading to a 2’3 jump I also find it hard to get the motivation up to really develop a decent canter, knowing we could do it in our sleep. Whelp, it bit us in the butt in the beginning of the ride and we were flailing all over those tiny jumps. Eventually we got our butts into gear though and found our rhythm a bit once we chocolate-chipped the shit out of a few fences. #mybad.
The lesson became very pleasant at that point and we did a few more fun courses, even getting some half-way decent lead changes, which is something I still worry over on the reg.
(pics are from our lesson last week, but video is from this lesson on Saturday)
Big thanks to Liana is always for the pics, and thanks for videoing! She also lessoned with me and did an INCREDIBLE job- would have beat the pants off me if our rounds had been in the show ring!