After much debate, I've dropped my lease and will only be riding once a week during the university term. Last year it worked to ride several times a week but it just isn't going to this year. I might not even be able to keep my job at the stable, but we shall see. There is another girl looking to work off a few extra lessons, and the easiest way is to give her my job. That way I can open the store on Saturdays rather than close and have more time for school (or fun stuff...not that clean the barn isn't fun..). Then I'll just have to find a new day to ride during the week and make sure I have away to and from the barn back to the university.
Spencer has been really good these last few lessons, although his owner has started riding him again, so that is a bit of a problem for our progress. Although earlier this week she finally sucked it up and cantered him properly, no freak outs or ripping on his mouth! Sadly it is to little to late. Some people came out to try him last week (or possibly the week before, I don't remember) and they are coming back this Thursday. Although we aren't sure how keen they are because they were planning on looking at another horse out by Calgary.
Spencer and I have been working on good up and down transitions, not so much on canter transitions, but definitely on walking/trotting and halting. He's getting very good at listening right away and keeping energy and form during the transitions and halting squarely. Hopefully this will help him sell quickly. We've started to carry a dressage whip rather than a jumping bat, and he's really great with it. He's much more respectful of it and I don't know if its because he can see it better or what, but its much less work getting him to do what you ask. Unless it's lead changes, but he's so much better than he was at the start where he would immediately drop down to a jarring simple change; now he will keep cantering on the wrong lead and every once in a while we get a lead change or at least a half one. Very much improved.
Our jumping has been quite good as well. The dressage whip is rather a pain to jump with, but it keeps me from turning my elbows weird by trying to keep it against my leg. We've only jumped 2'6"ish (some of the standards just have cups that slide up and down and only 2'9" is marked, so that's just a guess). He does well though. There have been jumps he hasn't seen before or in a while, such as the grey planks which have red swirls on one side, there's three planks on this for it stacked one on top of the other, as well as some bright blue standards and blue and white boxes. We've been having jumps with more filler lately, which makes things a bit more exciting; you never know which ones Spencer will decide he doesn't like!
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