Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lines of Communication

Twice the Fun

It was another lovely day, sorry, everyone. If it's any consolation, it rained hard early this morning, so the mud is back.

When I got home from school, rain was in the forecast, so I opted for long lining, since I didn't have to worry about getting my saddle wet if the rain did start.

Tucker was first, and he was nice and forward. The only flaw I have to deal with is that he tends to get too low and deep on the lines. It is a bit of an evasion he has always done under saddle when he was tired of working. It is not easy to correct on the lines, even with some half halts. I found the best solution was to push him into a canter. That tended to "open him up" and lift his forehand. Then, I'd ask for the downward transition, allow him to trot until he dropped behind again, and then transition back up. It worked a treat.

I closed the session with some fun jumping over the barrels. Tuck is very inexperienced over fences, but I have longed him over jumps often enough. Still, I guess the barrels looked "huge" to him. After a few "scoot arounds" he jumped them with about three feet of clearance. Then he settled in and did some nice quiet efforts on each rein. He really is a nice jumper and tends fold his knees and naturally jump off his hind end unless he really misjudges the distance. It was fun.

I lined Toby next getting some excellent work. He does not drop down, but comes nicely on the bit and tends to keep a very forward stride into the bit. I did a lot of trot/canter transitions with him as well because they are so good for building strength.

Then I lunged him over the barrels. What a ripper! After the giant leap, he bucked and galloped, always heading right back at the jump and sailing over it. I did ask that the last time he jumped he do it from a controlled, slower pace, but it was pretty clear he was having a grand time doing it for time. He'd be amazing in a speed class. He is a very able, springy jumper, but, as I've said before, he is too spooky about new things to have ever made a good competitor without a lot of schooling and experience.

Watching the Boys jump does make me a bit nostalgic for the old days when I was a jumping fool, but I realized I don't miss it "that" much. I might pop a fence now and then, but I've settled into the dressage queen role quite happily.

Chance had the night off as my knees just couldn't romp with one more.

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