Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Daniel Meech Clinic 2

I had Connie for my second lesson. I had her in the pelham because she is often very strong the first dayout. She isn't strong in the mouth, she has a nice mouth but she locks up in the neck and the action of the pelham encourages her to give in the poll, and when she is soft in the neck she is a breeze to ride. I did the same work with her that I had done on Rascal earlier. More flatwork, with more collecton and more flexing which Connie is quite capable of. I don't know if the andalusian breeding helps, or because I have always been pretty systematic in her schooling, but she finds flatwork pretty easy despite not being particularily balanced or through. That sounds backwards I know but once she is soft she is a pretty easy ride. I think I never even picked up my curb rein on her the whole lesson.

The trot poles to the small jump exercise didn't go well on Connie. Daniel said it was the bit being to strong and her not jumping across it but really Connie can't jump from a trot to save herself. There is a nifty photo I will get up soon of her trying to do this exercise and there are legs everywhere! She was a lot better through the grid, she felt nice down it, and I could feel her using her back well over the last oxer. It was exactly the same issues with Connie as it was with Rascal, needing to be more together and more organised and more determined to get my leads, and to ride with a better eye.

The final exercise with the line of three fences was better on Connie, but I was really running out of horse at this point so struggled to get the six strides heading down the hill because she just wanted to break. I got there in the end though and it was ok.

The next day when I started on Rascal she wasn't having a bar of any flatwork, she was pretty stiff and sore. I agreed with her to be fair, I have never had every muscle in my body hurt before so there you go. I never got her to free up her neck so to me anyway it felt like I was arguing with her more than I would have liked. I guess I prefer a more work up to the collection approach rather than asking for it from the get go. I get told to slow down a lot! We warmed up over a little upright and then went to a figure 8 exercise over a single oxer. Again the focus was staying collected and landing on the right leads. The wasn't much room it was a 15m circle turn with three strides before the fence and you had to be turning away wthin the landing stride. It was a lot easier for me than the easier version we had done before, but Rascal was quicker about getting her leads and I had a better idea of what I had to do so I guess that makes it easier.

We finished with a course made up of three related lines. So left canter circle to the first fence, right hand dogleg of five waiting strides to the oxer, then a right hand dogleg of 7 waiting strides to the picket. Left hand circle to the start of the next line- I had a stop here to start off with because I missed and didn't stay strong enough on take-off- 6 stride right hand dogleg to the liverpool oxer then 6 flowing more direct strides to the other picket, left hand roll back to the planks, five waiting strides to the liverpool oxer the other way and then a 7 stride right hand dogleg to the final fence. Tough eh. We rode each line (three fences) individually and then jumped the whole lot. I started out a little messy and Rascal a little spooky but by the time we came to the final run through of the course it went ok. I got a "good" so I must have improved.


  1. Sounds like challenging work - great that you got the opportunity! (Which of your horses has Furioso II breeding?)

  2. Bill, the 5yo I haven't done much with is a great granddaughter of Furioso II.

  3. Good Job! Can't wait to see some pictures!