Friday, July 29, 2016

Houston, we have a canter

Well, a better canter. A more appropriate title would be "Houston, we have a right lead," even if it's a bit rushed. Max is really trying his best despite the physiology not helping him out all that much.

Whatta ham
Max and I had our last lesson at Miss El's on Tuesday, and he went back to his home on Wednesday. He was actually supposed to go back on Monday, but for some reason we got an extra two days. Totally worth it, tho. He keeps getting more and more consistent with less BTV moments and taking more contact. For the moment, he still likely to lean, but we didn't have much in terms of rooting or giraffing.

The biggest focus for the day was softness in the transition. Thus far, we have allowed a hollowing and giraffing through the transition with a correction once the transition is complete; this is basically where the walk to canter and trot to canter transition are because, well, he's not super balanced and we've gotta let him do what he has to do at this point. The walk to trot and trot to walk however are ready for the softness part. If anything, it'll be fixed once I deal with my lack of attentiveness and general bracing through transitions. I've made a mental note of it.

After some very successful trot work (including some nice, soft ankle sitting trot), trainer asked if I wanted to give the canter another shot, to which I mainly thought "Eh, really?" That little voice in the back of my head really didn't want to do it, but we've been in this place before, so I sucked it up. I was aware that it wouldn't be fixed that week, but if you don't try then you're guaranteed to get nowhere. An attempt opens up the possibility for progress.

image from Pinterest
We started to the left and BAM! Instant improvement since the last time (when was the last time, again?)! His pace dropped by about half, and he was waaaaay softer. He still fell in, but there was a lot more sitting up through the turns and circles. We got the right lead on the first try, even though he broke to the left at one point, but he was quick about correcting himself. We finished on that, exceptional note.

"Let me be" -Evee, probably
Then it was on to pony squishing with miss Evee (possibly Eevee, no one gives me the full story). She's a medium sized (possibly small, again with the limited background information) Chincoteague Pony that's owned by one of the boarders. I haven't been on a pony this small for a while, nor have I been in a Dressage saddle for a while. Soft knees, guys, soft knees.

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