This never-ending winter is making it so difficult to train for the upcoming show season! Last night the arena was so incredibly dusty we could only do fairly light work. It was way too cold to actually water the arena, as it would have just frozen, so we had to make do with things as they were. Also, I’m tired of being so chilly during the tacking up and cooling out process. When will spring arrive?!
I’m excited though that Gordon was moved to a new stall tonight – I’ll take a photo of it the next time I’m out. My coach’s five horses are now in this separate, (but still attached by a doorway) section of the barn. This section is well-lit, spacious, private and just a much nicer environment to hang out/tack up in. I’m really excited to spend more time there! Gordon’s new stall is also a lot bigger, which is great because I always tack him up in-stall due to some cross-tie issues that he has (maybe something to work on over the summer).
In any case, as a result we just worked on walk-halt, trot-halt and halt-trot transitions primarily. We’re working at trying to get nice square halts every time to make things easier for show season (one less little thing to work on!). Things went okay, but it definitely didn’t feel out of this world. I need to work at consciously putting in more half-halts to improve the quality of my downward transitions. (Note to self: half halt transitions on Gordon = legs on, deep seat, and a slight squeeze/tilt of right rein). I think that should be my next goal for the next little while, because while our downward transitions from trot or canter to halt are prompt, they could be more on the haunches. The other thing I really need to work on is having lighter hands at the canter. Gordon definitely doesn’t need the extra support, unlike a lot of other horses I’ve ridden in the past. He supports himself and I really just need to keep my hands somewhat high (for me), light, and steady. I also need to work at balancing him more more in the corners by angling my body subtly into the turns – thus aligning my lower body into the correct position to better support him on the outside. Lots to work on, but there have been a lot of improvements too! I’m happy that our upward transitions are getting better (although I still feel like I should start incorporating spurs at this point so I can eliminate my nagging), and I’m happy that I can maintain the canter in a dressage seat for longer than before. Hopefully this weekend’s rides will go even better! Looking forward to recording it all soon.