Ben was in good spirits having played with his friend Finn all day. Our ride started out pretty normal, or perhaps slightly better than normal. We worked really hard on bending left which is so hard- and a counter bend to the left when going right.
Then my trainer had this bright idea of us using poles. Hmm okay, I'll trot over some poles.
Silly, silly me. She didn't mean just trot over poles. Of course she didn't, that would've been too easy.
She meant trot over poles, pick up the canter for 1/2 the arena, back down to trot, go over poles, pick up the canter....rinse and repeat. Which sounds pretty simple...except for the fact in order to do this exercise with any kind of dignity you had better have your half halts, transitions, and everything else in order - or else you will miss it. Forces you to ride each movement. Damn.
Turns out it was a fabulous exercise for me because I couldn't dwell on what was going well or not so welll, because if I stopped riding and started dwelling, I'd miss my next move.
This exercise was particularly good for Ben because it gets him to soften his back, lift his knees, and be a nice horse to ride. His canter improved by 1,000%
Our left canters were a bit shakey- I dont know why I didn't expect this, but I had a bit of anxiety asking for the left lead canter- perhaps because the last time I did that I became an arena dart.
At the end we were playing with our walk-canter transitions, and really, having me figure out the timing. Our transitions to the right were so much better- but everything is better to the right.
To the left, we got it, but my nerves= mistiming = Ben's already crappy direction gets worse.
A friend caught some of it on video. Nevermind those gals talking smack about my beautiful standardbred ;) They are all actually good friends and love poking fun at my decision to adopt this big lug. Any we all know they are just jealous ;) haha