Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Incounter With The Red Ball

I rode Java again on Thursday and it was the first day that we rode with the ball in the ring. So it could have been very exciting, but it was not. She could not have been less fazed by it. She didn't care when we walked up to it, she'd sniff it but that's it. She didn't even look when it was next to a jump we went over. Percy would knock it around with his nose and Zander was not even remotely pleased to see it. It's probably going to be a bit of a challenge to get her to play with the ball when she's so uninterested in it.

She was much peppier for me that she usually is during the flat part of the lesson. When we did the warm up exercise of  trotting an X rail, land cantering, trot before the cavaletties, she would not trot. We did it about five times in totally and she could canter the whole thing every time! It was incredibly frustrating. When it came time to do the course (yes! A whole course in a winter lesson! Most rare!) she did spectacular! We got all our distances, didn't get popped forward or left behind and didn't catcher in the mouth! It was a lot of fun, and she did really well! I also can still count strides accurately up to a jump, so I'm pleased not to have lost that ability!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Java 2

I rode Java again tonight, and she was delightful again.

She started off her normal self, relaxed but still energetic. She has such a nice trot and when she actually goes on the bridle, it's fantastic but every once in a while, you'll be going along great and then she'll tuck her head right to her chest and you lose contact with her mouth and then five seconds later she'll bring her head back up. She did this fairly often a couple years ago and her owner has worked with her a lot and gone through loads of different bits to find one that's comfortable for Java. She actually has a ridiculous number of bits, they bag they're in weights at least 5lbs. I think she now has her in a french link snaffle (I've already forgotten even though I just saw it tonight) and she goes very well with it.

So even though she started out great at the walk and trot, she was way peppier than usual at the canter. Much more like she is with L, where she'd just rather keep cantering and you have to work harder to keep her at sane pace so that you can still circle and not be out of control. Once we started jumping she really settled down though.

Today we had a bounce to a one stride along one long wall and some pylons to weave through on the other long wall. We started with just the bounce and later added the one stride and after we completed the jumps we brought them back to a working trot and weaved through the pylons. The one stride was adjusted to be an easy take off for the horses and then it was made to be slightly long, and then slightly short and we had to adjust depending on length. It actually went much better than I thought it would and I'm quite pleased that I can still count strides to a jump (to the whole grid, not just the one stride ha ha).

Next week we'll be doing a full course and have the big red horse soccer ball in the ring at some point! The end goal is to be able to play horse soccer with it but only a few of the horses are not scared of it right now, so it should be a very interesting lesson.