|best canter evar ;)|
I could probably split each component into separate posts.... but for the purposes of documenting the training process, the two are inextricably linked. Free jumping this horse is having exactly the impact on his development we had hoped, and it's already showing!
|he hung out alllll by his self at the trailer for maybe ~5-10min for the first time too. didn't notice. good boy.|
|cherry-picked moment #1|
|cherry-picked moment #2. if it happened twice it can't be just a fluke, right??|
|exhausted from the exertion.|
my favorite part of this video is when trainer P yells "Leg!" as Charlie goes through the grid.... obviously the teacher's reflex is strong haha
Obviously again there's nothing ground breaking here. He's still often awkward and stilted haha. But the moments when he does just canter on through feel promising.
And I was quite pleased to see a few instances where things weren't quite perfect but Charlie could recognize and adjust accordingly, instead of just crashing into the pole (except for that one time, oops). Baby steps y'all!
|a tale of two personalities haha. charlie is snoozing and bella reeeeeeeally wants to know what i'm up to|
Plus it was trainer P's first time seeing Charlie go since the seismic shift following switching to the new girth and spurs.
|Bella continues to shine too!|
|friends!!! and a dog that i totally promise isn't actually dead!!|
Now I'm not saying the dinosaur is totally extinct -- but as trainer P said, now we know how Charlie is gonna react when something is buggin him. It might not always be the girth. But that's his 'tell.' For now tho we appear to have smooth sailing, yay!
|d'aww good pony!! still so awkward even when he 'nails' it haha|
|i'm somewhat hilariously left behind Charlie's huge effort at a gappy distance.... but am absolutely loving every second|
He also had a couple "Oh Shit" or "WTF" moments too - and we both played a role in some misses (like when I was completely left behind at the above jump lol).
But he didn't touch a single pole and he jumped everything. He rode forward and carried me to each fence (we jumped a number of different verticals and oxers plus the one in the video). And cantering the jumps is a thing we can reliably do now.
Meanwhile I just kinda sat there and let him do his thing, while keeping my left hand hooked on to the neck strap like it was my job (just don't ask what my right hand was doing bc I promise I don't know haha). And that's basically exactly what it looks like: essentially, not much. He's still awkward and I'm still just clinging to his back like a passenger while he works it out.
|turned out with no blankets - it's a miracle!|
He's had 7 total jump lessons, 2 free jump schools, and 5 dressage lessons. Not a ton in the grand scheme of things, but we've made the most of them and have worked hard on our homework while schooling in between lessons.
The timing of everything just feels really good. Spring is coming. Charlie is getting more and more sound through his body and feet. And he is slowly but surely learning his job. So maybe, just maybe, we may actually put together some semblance of a show season. After the disaster that was 2016's season, I'm pretty excited by the prospect!