Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

This past weekend, Eddie and I went to Nashville to visit with some of our horsey friends and to take a lesson with Amy Wise. She is great and the lesson (as well as the companionship of our sweet friends and their horses) were such a help to us. We had a very successful 2 days!

After dealing with a return to the ground-level basics of our training this past year, I finally saw some great improvements in me and Eddie! We jumped (calmly) a gymnastic of a crossrail, to an oxer, to a vertical. After we jumped through this a few times and turned right after the final element, we were cantering along on the left lead and after a few seconds I felt a little "bump" and a few seconds later I looked down and realized that Eddie had automatically swapped his lead! He doesn't do flying changes, we haven't been working on them, I certainly didn't ask him to, but he did it because the way we were cantering was unbalanced (going to the right on the left lead) and he decided FOR HIMSELF that "hey, this isn't right, so let me do something about it." Yayyyyy, Eddie! If that was all we had accomplished this weekend, I'd have been happy. But, it didn't stop there!

We worked on lateral bend (spiral in/spiral out) and after Amy got on Eddie and bossed him around for a few minutes (he didn't like that, for the record) he was much more responsive once his mommy got back on and he decided he'd rather have me "bossing him around" than Amy! We also worked on me shortening my reins for a better contact on the approach to fences, half-halting to get him bouncy and energetic (not sluggish and strung out), and I worked on shoulders up/chest up over fences (rather than collapsing in the air on his neck and making his forehand heavier). Lots of good work this weekend, but more than anything, we came home with some great assignments and a plan for how to recreate our lesson work in our daily training routine. I had a lot of fun riding and learning with my friends this weekend and I can't wait to pick up where we left off back here at home!

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