Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back to basics

Yesterday morning I made sure to get out to the barn and ride Panama. It was a lovely day, mid 60s, clear, warm in the sun but with a nice fall feeling in the air.

Our lesson on Wednesday was one of those days when nothing was going right (with anything, not just with Panama). It was also a very windy day, which might have been why Panama was so eager to run. You wouldn't know he lives in a pasture...

Anyway, I discovered that not only was Panama constantly trying to trot, he tried especially hard if I leaned forward or went into my two-point at the walk. So we worked for a little while on walking until I asked for something else, and stopping or slowing to a walk quickly.

I was a bit embarrassed about spending our lesson working on this, so I resolved to do a lot of work on his downward transitions on my own time. Yesterday was my first opportunity to do this. We started out just walking and stopping, and Panama was a complete angel. Then we trotted and slowed, and he was also fine. Once I started asking him to speed up and slow down his trot, though, he got excited and started trying to rush me: trotting more quickly than I was asking for, picking up a trot before I asked for it, etc.

I think he started thinking about cantering, since trotting faster transitioned into cantering a few lessons ago. But having only cantered in two lessons so far, I'm not comfortable doing so when I am completely alone on the property. Perhaps if my husband will come out with me this weekend, we'll try it then.

But only if Panama is not trying to rush me!

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