And then we cantered a course!
|He's all shoulder and nothing else.|
Is it just me, or is having a lesson at 10am too early?? I can barely get up for brunch at 10am, let alone adult Saddle Club.
The weather in Florida (and pretty much the whole East Coast) has been wild as of late. Winter is typically very dry, but this year has been unseasonably cold and damp. And I don't even mean just heavy rain here or there, I mean raining for a full week at a time without enough sun to dry everything out. Fuego's turnout bell boots are fully waterlogged. Because of this weather, some lessons had to be rescheduled to avoid literal tornado warnings. This meant that the ring was a bit crowded on Saturday with four different lessons going on. Two were in the jump ring and two in the Dressage ring.
It made for an audience. And I do not like an audience.
We started the lesson with a different approach to Fuego's trot. The new idea was that he has to actually trot and not do his Western Pleasure best. Off we went with me basically chasing him forward until he got the idea and maintained a good rhythm. He certainly has that solid working trot in him, and as I found out yesterday, he does have a nice, snappy extension too! He maintained it very well and kept a good workman-like attitude for the rest of the ride. We didn't do anything special on the flat. All the poles were being used for jumps, so all I could do was make different circles and cuts through the ring to keep things interesting. Navigating around three teenagers was more fun than it sounds.
Jumping was essentially the same course as last week, just backward. Some of the fences had been rearranged, so instead of starting and ending on a line, we started on a line and ended with a single. The first rendition of the course created a weird get-away situation at the last fence. Trainer T and I were both keen on setting him up for success with a straight approach and getaway, so we swapped the last fence for a different one with a filler that Fuego has both jumped and spooked at in the past. She had me go over it once by itself just to calm my nerves, and then we went through the whole thing again.
I did the course four times. He was the best little angel baby boy every time. I'm so thrilled with him and how he's been going. He's taking me to the fences without being crazy. After reviewing the videos, there's a lot for me to keep working on in order to make sure he continues to feel this comfortable and confident, especially as the fences go up. I know it hasn't been very long, but I genuinely did not see myself cantering a course on this horse so soon. And I especially didn't foresee the course being that easy to get through. It was like riding a horse who's done it his whole life.
So we'll continue to progress from here. Apologies for the blurry screenshots. A voiceover with videos of the full courses is coming! I think I'll take some time to go more in-depth about what I want to change in my riding to better suit him. This horse is a gem, and I want to do right by him.
|Basically snoozing over the scary filler. What a good boy!|