Friday, February 5, 2010

Looks like we're in for nasty weather

It has been a week I wish I could have forgotten.

Technical difficulties at work, plus a few difficult days in the saddle made for a very long, drawn-out week. I'm happy much of it has passed and we're back to our regularly scheduled program. One more challenge to face down (annual awards banquet) and we'll be home free.

Sinari worked hard this week, however, conditioning to FEI is not easy for her. Especially with a new saddle fit and coming in to first season.It's also the first week of regular work out of a long spotty period.

The problem with the pony isn't physical limitation, once fully conditioned, she'll be able to do all of it. It's getting her mentally phased into it. She wants to work, and she wants to please, so for me, the issue is myself. I need to keep her mind mentally relaxed and push when necessary.

I backed off of much of the exercises that were mind-benders and began to work more towards a relaxed state of mind.

Most of the week was spent in deep bending and loosening exercises, getting her mentally back to the point where we could tackle the extreme part of work. I also added back her sheepskin pad with the extra shoulder shims. It seem to make life a bit easier. Her conditioning also has come along as well.

Yesterday and today we broached the subject again in the double and she was much happier in the work. We'll continue on this path but first January's goals.

Medium/Extended work
Achieved. She showed 10 to 12 steps of extended in the ultra-deep footing. Now it's a matter of quickening the reactions in and out of them. 

Achieved, but needs more refining. Somedays she's truly off the seat and leg and others, it feels like I have to encourage her inner Trigger.

3 very collected steps of canter
Achieved. More than achieved. She produces 10 meters worth of very collected steps. I love this feeling of her being that through and collected, like a carousel horse. She needs to become stronger to carry the feeling longer and not have her mind totally warped from getting it. Normally what I would do is bring her out on the fields to go and gallop and collect from that. But the weather has put a huge stop to going outdoors.

Lateral work
Lateral work fell by the wayside.Will resume in February.

The adjustable outline/ accordion
Began working more on this towards the later half of the month working towards the idea I can ride her up, I can ride her down, I can ride her deep, long, collected, wherever at whatever gait. Of course she prefers the long and low and down, round and deep. Good at the trot, needs more work at the canter.

Seemed to be the theme this month. She is far more flexible, especially through the neck and ribs. However, the difficulty isn't keeping her flexible, it's keeping my legs in place. The saddle is more accommodating for her than it is for me.

February's Goals:
The adjustable outline/ the accordion
Lateral work, specifically half pass. Needs more flow, and of course, the zig-zags.
Pirouettes, canter and walk
Transitions out of the halt to canter. She gets jiggy (not that I mind, it will come in handy for piaffe), and becomes stoppy at the up transition (resists contact). I want her to become comfortable with the transition itself.
Tempi Changes (at least green ones) and regular uphill, straight changes.
If the weather will allow- conditioning.

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