Shhh! Don’t tell the universe…
… but things are actually going quite well for me and Drifter at the moment.
I’ve been putting off posting because I felt like as soon as I typed those words we’d immediately be visited by terrible lameness, hideous infection, a meteor crash or all of the above.
Perhaps I’d better ring the stable to check on him …
Paranoia aside, stuff is good!
- Drifter seems to have got both his head and his legs around the canter-lead business. He’s probably gone from being wrong 90% of the time to being right 90% of the time.
- I am getting the hang of feeling the canter lead. How easy I find it depends on his balance, speed and what sort of shape we’re on, but I’m making progress.
- On Saturday we jumped 3 little jumps with a single stride between each and on one attempt at this I actually managed to be upright when I should be and folded when I should be, which is a surprising amount of coordination for me (or most of our jump class to be honest). The people watching clapped and I waved to my audience. Happy days.
- He is working rounder. I put his running martingale on him for jumping and am too lazy to take it off the reins again to do flat work, so we’ve been in the martingale all the time and I reluctantly have to admit that it suits him. My reluctance is because I want to get him dressage-round without the non-dressage-legal martingale. But I think I have to accept that he is developing better muscle working in the martingale all the time than working without it. I am starting to see that he is a show-jumping horse at heart and by his training and so he has probably spent most of his working life in a martingale of some kind. If it works for him I should use it. If he spends enough time working nicely, building the relevant muscles to carry himself then hopefully when I take it off him for a dressage competition the habit of moving well will carry over. If not, who cares? I’d rather have a horse carrying himself well 99% of the time and badly in a dressage test (that really means nothing) than carrying himself badly all the time while I fuss about why he won’t put his head down. I did not buy him as a competition horse. I bought him for the 99% of the time when I’m not competing.
- Because he’s working rounder everything is easier for us both. Balance is better, suppleness, responsiveness, communication between us.
- Because we can work in the canter rather than working to get the canter we’re both getting more exercise
- I’ve twigged that the reason I get out of breath quickly in the canter is because I’m not breathing normally. So now I’m making an effort to breathe in relation to his canter strides, e.g. in for 2 out for 2 which is helping with my breathing and my canter stride counting for when we jump. I think it’s also calming him not to have me gasping on top.
- I can’t actually remember the last time we had a bad ride.
So you see, stuff is going well for us!
To finish off, here’s the picture Julie requested in her comment on my last post: a unicorn, in the style of My Little Pony. For no extra cost I have also included wings.