It was not the same horse that I had at the show a mere 4 days before, leading to this life quote (Lendon Gray's response to her question, "When should I show a young horse?" while they were standing in the parking lot of a horse show.):
"There is never a good time to go out and show a young horse. They change every day, and they might be good on show day or they might not steer that day. Most grow out of it, some never do."Such is life with young horses.
Anyway some nuggets from warm up and the canter work:
- Let him trot just a half mile per hour more.
- Rounder at the poll in trot.
- Tuck my ankles into him at canter and lift his rib cage up into the thigh.
- Rounder at the poll in canter too.
- Start changing the canter circle to walk exercise up since he's very anticipatory. Push him through the parts of the circle where he wants to break. I needed to really sit and dig/push with my seat (I felt like a noob pumping away at him, but I really wasn't... just sitting deep and following), and really relax and follow with my arms.
- He's in a purgatory of he understands the question but isn't strong enough to consistently execute the answer.
- Sometimes the warmbloods are like "I've got this, I've got this, I've got this" and then all of a sudden their muscles have too much lactic acid build up and they suddenly don't have it anymore. Moral of the story, applaud the effort and take lots of breaks!
- No additional MPH in canter, just more energy: tap him on top of his hind end so he doesn't run off his feet.
- It's almost time to make him rounder, even if it brings his neck down, because he won't immediately splat like he did in November/December.
I was so thrilled that she thought he was much stronger than the last time she saw him, and almost ready to let him carry himself a bit lower. Yay!
On to the trot ("Show me this earthbound trot"), where she first addressed the earthbound problem.
- Unless we're on centerline going to X, straight needs to be shoulder fore.
- A rather exhausting-to-sit trot is the trot we need... I kind of knew that, ugh!
- Again, rounder in the trot.
Then addressed the bend problem:
- Lots of inside leg well before the corner to really push him to the outside rein.
- Move both hands across the diagonal while still in the corner so I come out of the corner bent enough and already asking for shoulder in.
- Prepare WAY earlier so when you get to the long side you give permission for SI and he just goes.
- The inside leg FIRST creates the correct bend (go figure, inside leg to outside rein!) and he pops right out onto the long wall with proper bend because I used the leg first.
- I have to be careful not to ask too hard because he's already bent and going- I tend to over cue and throw him into the SI instead of allowing him into the SI.
- It's better to screw up the SI by him falling in, rather than me save him and him falling out.
- Once SI is established, shift your weight to your inside stirrup and add a smidge of left leg (which I mostly forgot to do in the video below), and you'll swoosh off into half pass.
It was super cool, and super easy to get SI and half pass once I established bend first... though half pass has been easy for us since GP Trainer set us straight.
|Boom, he was right there for SI.|
|"He's like Spiderman sideways!" It goes better when keep my outside leg consistent, lol.|
Penn was lucky enough to get a stall with a run during this visit! Very exciting. Except his stupid owner didn't bring any turnout clothes (aka anything waterproof) with us, so he had to wait to enjoy his run until after it stopped raining.
|Shake like a dog.|
|"Look ma, I'm outside!"|
He happily munched hay, walked to the door, looked out, circled back and grab another bite, repeat. Sometimes he'd walk outside in his lap around the stall, haha. Either way, he loved the run, and I know if I ever have my own place, I'll be structuring it so every stall has a run attached.
|A really pretty rainbow showed up on our way to the hotel.|
It's a good thing we didn't show up sooner, the storm produced two F0 tornadoes that basically started in the little town we stay in while we visit GP Trainer.