Bob in the 80cm, probably a little small
For the big guy.
Kim in the background on Kate
I think he is such a cool looking horse. He's a such a big didonk.
I think you can kind of see I'm struggling for air. Anyway, it's been an interesting few days. After two days of doing the bare minimum required and slowly dying, my immune system has rallied and I'm a lot better which is good because I'm an awful sick person. Very complainy.
Anyway, I was riding China yesterday and he was trucking along quite nicely and he had his neck nicely arched and he's such an impressive mover he felt pretty good but there were a few tiny things that started to make my head tick. Every so often he would throw the inside shoulder in, or lug on the bit before turning and get heavy. And then I kind of clicked and was like you clever little clogs. He's been faking me out.
I did my favourite exercise of small circles in the corner, flexing around the inside leg with a very quick release of the inside rein when he softened. Then once they are lovely and buttery you go down the long side, little lengthen keeping the softness by using flexion and leg. Circle in the next corner until really soft again and the maintain the pace on the short side and circle in te next corner and so on ad nauseum but it just makes it a lot easier to get them really round. The release on the inside rein is key and pushing them into the outside rein with the inside leg and maintaining correct bend. And low and behold his whole back and jaw let go more, he was moving better and straighter in his body.
Bob is in a bit of a strength boot camp and I have noticed the same thing a in him. Rather than just throwing the shoulder, he also has a brace and run being quite reactive to the leg. And overbending. But doesn't lug on the turns. So I guess the epiphany is that it's time for both of them to have a bit more pressure on in their flatwork to make them work more correctly. It's easy when they are young and green to let things slide some but at some point they have to come to the party. It's so much easier to instill the work correctly at the start and not let the bad habits sneak in from the beginning. Shows will always make a horse revert to their old ways. For China that means blowing through the Aids, and for Bob falling in on the left rein and running. So that's ok we just work on this. Bob and I had a really productive ride tonight and I'm curious to see what that feels like next schooling session.
Te best part though! Trainer friend let me have a jump on her two good horses. One I ride quite a lot on the flat because he lets me work on myself and he has all the buttons so he's quite fun. The second I would be lucky to have ridden twice. The jumps were tiny like 60cm but they were still tricky enough to ride she makes them look so easy, but one is a bit chicken and the other is full of opinions and was most offended when I missed him. I thought he was going to bury me on the landing side! It was kinda cool to get my eye in a bit more and jump different horses and also to ride horses that are you know adjustable. My guys are getting there but they don't have the same level of collectibility.
The hunger is coming back. The flutter in my stomach and that drive to jump. It's been gone a long time, but for the first time in a long time I'm excited spring is coming.