Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Showing plans and a couple of good rides

I knew I wanted to show Panama a little more this summer, and possibly start exposing Rondo to it too.  And per a recent conversation with her mom, V., the girl I nanny for, might start a partial lease on Panama, and show him this summer as well.  It's all very exciting, even though my trainer has some reservations about how well he'll handle it, and whether he'll be safe for V. to ride at shows.  I think he will be okay, since he did so well at that schooling show in September, but I also know that there are things we will need to expose him to in the meantime -- the way jumps look at other facilities, for example, since he is used to the rather bare-bones jumps at our barn.

With my plans for summer in mind, my trainer upped the ante a bit during last week's lesson, and set up a figure 8 mini jump course in the indoor arena (it's a small arena, so there isn't room for much else of a course).  It consisted of two jumps at right angles to one another in the middle of the arena across the diagonals.  Panama shied away from them a couple times while we were warming up, since he'd never seen jumps set up like that before (hence why we need to expose him to more), but got over it quickly and we got right to work.  It was the first time I've ever done jump after jump after jump without time in between to reorganize and think about -- and talk to my trainer about -- what I just did, and it was an overwhelming but also very fun experience for me.  Panama loves jumping, so he probably handled it better than I did, although the figure 8 did show one interesting thing: He jumps much better going into his left lead (his better lead) than his right.  He almost always picks up the correct leads in flat work, he just prefers his left lead (and doesn't carry himself as well in his right), so it was interesting to see how this carried over into jumping as well.

After my jumping lesson we rode Rondo, and my trainer cantered him for the second time.  (The first was a couple of weeks ago, when I wasn't feeling well, so I didn't get to be there for it.)  He is doing very, very well with the canter -- picks up the correct lead, and no playful (or irritated) canter departs as we'd feared.  (He tends to buck going into the canter on the lunge line, but I think that is actually because he hates lunging because he feels he's being chased into the next gait.  He has been better with everything under saddle than on the lunge line.)

Our jumping lesson had gone over a little, so the training session with Rondo was cut a little short.  Once my trainer left, however, I got on Rondo and rode him for about 30 minutes, with lots of trotting -- so he got his full hour in one way or another.  (I didn't try cantering him myself -- my trainer said to give her a few weeks before I try it, in case he does decide to act up after the first couple of times, and I am perfectly in agreement!)  He is coming along very well and I am very, very pleased.

My trainer has videos of both me jumping and Rondo cantering (the second of which I took, obviously), but they are on her camera so I am trying to get them from her so I can put them up here!

Thursdays really are my favorite day, because after spending my entire morning at the barn, I take V. to her riding lesson in the afternoon.  A whole day spent with horses, and I even get paid for part of it!



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