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Lisa's Blog post # 46
Did you know that history repeats itself? Sometimes it takes decades or centuries – for me it took a week and a half. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". If I had paid attention the first time around my ride today would have ended a lot better than it did.
I showed up at the barn wanting to work on our canter by going over baby jumps. Since concentrating on dressage we haven’t jumped at all and I’m ready to make some progress on Goal #1.
I had taken a lesson with Lesley this week (the first in 2 months) about how to get Cotton round and connected. I think I finally have it and Cotton’s life will forever more be changed! He’ll probably remember that lesson for a long time – “Yeah, everything was going great until I saw her again… ”
Anyway, today we were able to duplicate her directions pretty well – I think. We stayed on a 20 meter circle and spiraled in and out both directions at the trot. But our canter work was especially encouraging! He was not heavy or fast - he was bouncy and balanced. We spiraled in and out both directions at the canter and then took a walk break before beginning the jumping portion of our canter work.
We were in his snaffle – see post #45.
There was a single pole on the ground so I decided to canter a figure eight over that a couple of times to begin. One quick trot run first, just to make sure we could make smooth circles around the maze of jumps …
The moment we turned off the circle and it became apparent to Cotton that we were going over an object, even one so closely affixed to the earth, the excitement of what we were doing set in. The glorious flat work we had just enjoyed was a dull and distant memory already. He was running through my aids, hollow and definitely disconnected. I should have re-grouped right then but, as has previously been established, I can be a tad dense.
We endured a frustrating 15 minutes of that before I bailed out. I was not happy. It wasn’t until I was well on my way back home that I realized how to fix it next time… From now on, I will put him in the bubble bit when I want to do any work that involves a pole on any plane – at least until we can get through this phase.
My consolation was that I looked back on my previous posts and realized that it took us about a month to learn how to ride in the snaffle. I expect that it will take about another month to figure out how to canter calmly over baby jumps – which are basically raised cavalletti. I’m expecting that once we do that we are golden! With his canter having become so much more balanced already, we may even beat that time.
Everyone’s going to an event at the end of February… do I dare hope for that (?!) All in God’s time…sigh.
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