Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And Back We Go

Oh Cadence.  Apparently a lack of turnout (Grrrr.. I hate this weather) coupled with less riding doesn't mesh well with a scary board in the corner of the arena.  Cadence was hyped, energetic, and tense.  What a lovely combination!  I'd originally set up a combination of three short 1 strides to school over, but that required her to not rush at them and apparently yesterday that was beyond her.  We spent the first 20 minutes attempting to get near the scary corner. 
Every time we'd approach the pointof going no further, she'd stop and start backing up.  She can back up really well!  And really fast too... At first, she was genuinely fearful, so we slowly circled to the left and gradually approached the scary board to the left.  Once we accomplished that, we did like a circle to the right starting on the left side of the arena, and gradually working our way over to the right.  It worked, and she essentially got over herself.  She was a little slow to the right, and required a little push to get an appropriate level of impulsion.  Odd for her, but she was normal to the left.  Then we took a break, and she decided that the board was once again scary, but only to the right.  If she's genuinely afraid, I don't mind her acting up a bit and showing a little resistant, but if we've already gone through it, she isn't allowed to.  She's been there, and knows it isn't as scary as she thinks it is.  I picked up a whip, and when she stopped, tapped her.  She got the message, and went nice and forward through the turn.  Good mare!
Our jumping was interesting... she was wound pretty tight, and as previously mentioned I'd set up the day's exercise a leetle bit short.  Nothing major, and easily accomplished from a calm relaxed canter.  The relaxed canter wasn't really an option for her though, so after getting it once we just focused on jumping from the canter.  She'd done pretty well with that in our last lesson, so I was hopeful.  To the right, she was fantastic!  Trotted in, got the lead, cantered around again.  Wonderful!  To the left... head throwing, nose in the air, borderline taking off.  After getting one good jump (the approach was awful, she wouldn't stop twisting and shaking her head) we left the left.  The issue withthe left stems from the canter.  Cantering to the left, she wants to rush off instead of holding herself up and balancing.  Her right side is her weak side, so when we canter to the left she is still a little crooked.  When I correct that minor left bend and get her straight, she can't support that outside shoulder well enough and sometimes ends up falling through and pushing my leg into the wall.  Ouch!  Jumping, that's just magnified.  Trying to hold her straight to the jump is difficult.  Coupled with attempting to keep her slow... she's really not a fan.  Either way, once that right side strengthens up a bit, she'll get it.  She's got it in the trot now, so the canter should be soon to follow.

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