Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trying to get back on track

For a few weeks there, my life really felt like it was getting out of control.  I'm not sure where the days went!  I was still getting out to the barn at least a couple days a week, but I had no time for blogging.  So this week, I'm regrouping, getting caught up on my blogs, and then next week I'm going to focus on establishing a better barn schedule.  (Not this week because I have another busy one ahead of me, I'm afraid.)

Last week I did have a lesson and a training session with Rondo and my trainer.  Rondo's training session mainly focused on getting him ready for bridling — he's not great about his ears being handled, so my trainer worked on that a lot, using a stool so he couldn't put his head up out of her reach.  I realized then that he has more of a mommy attachment than I thought, because he is WAY better about letting me handle his ears than anyone else.  Still reluctant, but there's less fight in him when it's me.

My trainer gave me "homework" — to handle his ears some more — though maybe what I should be doing is also asking everyone else to handle his ears!  I did it with and without the stool the other day, and with only a couple of exceptions, he was grudgingly accepting, and even was willing to bring his head down when asked so that I could reach his ears better.  Pretty good, I'd say, but we'll see if he's still fighting it with anyone else when my trainer comes again this week.

For my riding lesson, I worked a little bit on our upward transitions into the canter, and my trainer said my sitting canter was looking much better.  Yay!  Then she pulled out the jumps.  I haven't jumped in a long time, because the nicer jumps turned out to belong to another boarder, so when she left a little while back, the jumps left too.  The poles that were left were plain and unpainted; they were about the same color as the arena sand, and Panama was shying away from them as a result when we were using them as ground poles.  Plus they are rather long for our little indoor arena!

But my trainer said she was getting bored with me only doing flatwork, so on Thursday she got them out anyway.  And it went great — apparently all the two-point canter work I've done in the meantime has made my position much better while jumping, too.  Panama didn't shy at all, not even when we did ground poles to start — I suspect that having a white-painted jump standard on either side helped because then he knew where the pole was, even though it was about the same color as the footing.

Since my lesson, I haven't had a chance to do much more than grooming, blanketing, and working with Rondo on his ears, and like I said, this week is going to be a busy one.  I may have to be satisfied with one ride today or tomorrow, and a lesson — and then hopefully next week will settle down a little!

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