Monday, October 27, 2014

More Flying Changes and a Haircut

I had a lesson Sunday morning since it's the last one I'll have before I take Mikey for the winter, and since it's on a weekend, we wouldn't be on a time constraint. I wanted another lesson to work on the changes. He's been good, but I wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

Basically what we came up with was he's too quiet and not connected enough. Quiet was good when he was nervous and bolting to the poles and jumping around the arena. We failed a bunch of times on the good one til I got more forward, and then my trainer asked to sit on him when I tried the other way and just never got an answer from him.

She asked for a lot more forward, and used more of everything except her seat to hold him together- he shuts down on the changes if we use too much seat right now, but he splits the front and back end and disconnects right before and into the change. Essentially, we're going to hold him together when he wants to split, and carry much more impulsion and jump in the canter. Eventually we'll add seat back so we can ask from the seat, but right now he's so iffy on giving anything that we're going with a lighter seat and a little more of everything else, only if he goes to split.

And keep the straightness before the change. Very straight or bust.

I sat on him again after she did, what a difference! The hop and jump were there, and he was there, so when he went to split or rush, it was easy to hold him together and force him to do the change actively and correctly. Basically, quiet is good, but he needs to be jazzed up a little and up and connected. I need to play the fine line of being nice to him because he's learning, and forcing him to remember what he's supposed to be doing.

And I'm excited that we either get the clean change, or nothing at all. Yes, it's an all or nothing, but that means when I get it right, he gets it right, and when I'm wrong so is he. Fixing the late behind is harder to do I think.

I also think I'm going to go back to 2nd after getting my bronze. I'll ride 2nd 3 and 3rd 3, or whatever they decide on for the new tests. Centerline scores is implementing a new rider rating system, detailed here. I'd like a 3* rating eventually, and to get that I need to go back and get 7 more points at 2nd level. I don't mind hanging out at 3rd and getting those scores. I will put my medals above the rider rating though, I don't have much time left with Mikey to get to PSG, and I'm not a professional so the rider rating doesn't do much for me.
I did clip Mikey on Sunday before my lesson as it's going to be 70 and 77 today and tomorrow, and I knew he would be too sweaty after my lesson yesterday to clip him. Right now he has what we're calling a "blanket clip" where I full body clipped him everywhere under his blanket. So he has all his neck hair still and looks slightly ridiculous, but it's better than that shaggy horse.

Shaved pony. I'll shave his neck later this week when I get his blankets. I'll clean up the edges at that time too. And pull his mane, trim his bridle path and ears and whiskers. Basically make him show worthy!

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