Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's plans, one day at a time

Much as I have plans for 2014, I am realistic enough to take them one day at a time.

My plan is to improve our flatwork. I know the mare can jump, she has proven that on plenty of occasions. What we now need is some semblance of control. I have tried changing some tack around, and I think we have found what works day to day. She is in a loose ring, French link with copper lozenge bit and a drop noseband. She likes this, she is soft in it at walk and trot, and softer in canter than she was.  I also have a hanging cheek Waterford for her to hack in with a view to hunt/xc in it too if still necessary. It is not that she pulls, you have either 'got' her or you haven't, and when you haven't she just tanks!

So, flatwork. I plan to use lots of pole exercises to keep us both from getting bored, and plenty of warm up and cool down, which I am guilty of rushing.

This week my husband is off work, so I plan to make the most of virtually guilt free childcare ;D

35 minutes in the school, 15 of those spent walking, lots of stretching, walking over one slightly raised pole and encouraging her to step under more from behind. Halting over the pole too, to get her listening to me (makes a nice change!) The trot work I am trying to do as much as possible with my legs, as she has got into the habit of swinging her nose slightly, a classic avoidance technique! Still, good for me to keep my hands as still as possible and use my legs more. Canter is by far our weakest pace, she tends to grab the bit and charge (think rhino) and so I tend to grab back, before remembering and dropping my inside rein, which in turn makes me carry the outside rein and she eases off the bridle. It will come I'm sure, and with any luck I can burn off some of these chocolate biscuits! 

But isn't she looking pretty good? 

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