For whatever reason tho, with Charlie, I often either don't write much at all about schooling details, or I just provide summaries on recent trends and highlights (or lowlights lol). Despite keeping the horse on a fairly consistent 4-5 days/wk schedule.
|from the right angle and with the right amount of blur, he miiiiiiight almost look not totally unfancy!|
I think it's mostly bc we're working on very small things when we school at home. Just one step at a time. Can I displace his barrel with my inside leg for this one step? Can he push evenly from both hind legs into both reins up this straight away? Can we do a full circle without him bulging out or falling in?
And can I hold my own position throughout? Or are my reins slipping longer and longer; is my upper body tipping forward and down; am I sitting evenly on both sides of the horse?
|baby bank ftw!|
But with the arrival of spring and longer daylight hours, we've been able to branch out in our schooling rides at home in a way that makes them maybe more interesting. Or at least adds a little variety. Namely - the horse needs conditioning. He needs work outside of the arena, on uneven ground. We can't just do mentally exhausting flat work for 20min 4x a week and call it good - that's not sufficient. Nor really useful for my purposes.
|pets for good ponies. also this is a more normal trot haha|
This thing is obviously quite small.... but it asks the right question. And especially after Charlie's minor undoing at the bank into water during our xc schooling (which was caused by the water but bled into our later bank efforts anyway), I foresee us getting a lot more miles over this little bump. Up and down and all around, and maybe you should try doing it at a speed faster than a mincing shuffle, Emma!
|faux rocks!!!! one of which charlie knocked down haha|
|logs on left, swoopy arena jump on right, cord wood stack in middle background. oh, and you better believe we practiced in those puddles too haha|
Bc why school normal, level-appropriate and true xc fences when among the safety and camaraderie of friends when you can jump your green horse in a field by yourself when nobody knows where you are? #geniusoverhere
|cord wood stacks!|
|happy ears forever drawn toward the barn...|
We went out again with a lesson the next day just to focus on flat work over terrain, since I often tend to get a little passive when we leave the arena. Having the other horses around helped reassure Charlie that this was totally normal, plus he got to stand around quietly and observe while they all jumped around. Always beneficial, imo.
And? He flatted quite nicely. Including some reeeally lovely canters. I feel like I always say that haha.... bc I really truly do love his canter. But the transitions are feeling really solid and consistent recently in a way that makes me feel borderline confident about tackling a wtc dressage test. Which, not coincidentally, is the requirement for most 2'3 divisions around here.
|freshly organized trailer is so tidy! still feel like that hanging bag could be better optimized, but it's good for now. inside the bench pictured below|
Luckily we were able to do some much-needed spring cleaning. Including optimizing storage within the truck's cap and the trailer's built-in bench to ensure easy packing / unpacking for all the adventures we hope to embark on this year. Tis the season, right?
Have you undertaken any big spring cleaning efforts lately? Or have you been looking around your farm with fresh spring eyes lately - looking for opportunities to shake things up and try new things?