Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week three: done

Trisha was on track to finish the third week by today. Indy had a few days off last week, between Wednesday and Sunday.

Due to a few floating issues with Scarlett, I decided to head up without her and lesson with Indy instead on Sunday.

We even had a photographer, thanks to Trisha's Scottish friend Sally, so there are a HEAP of awesome shots.

Sam & Cruise were the only others there... a real surprise seeing we're only a month away from Peggy's clinics! Trisha is holding a final pre-Peggy Intensive on the 15th, which clashes with Clevedon A&P show so I won't have any more lessons before December.

We started off with some people stuff... lots to remember to remember! For me, mostly softening the muscles in my upper chest, not holding my back, remembering to breathe, floating forward, and expanding between sacrum and sternum.
Then onto groundwork. Some baby turn-on-the-forehand: looking for just one step in the direction we're asking for. More with two lines and/or two reins. More meeting and melting on the reins, which was TOTALLY easy today. The three days off really helped her to process those things from earlier in the week.

Towards the end of the morning, Trisha took Indy on one line so I could see progress there. Indy is a lot softer, even in the contact, and better at maintaining her own speed and direction. She is still very one-sided. On her good side, Trisha can ask for a 'fair whack' more bend for a few strides, but on the other she can only ask for about one step before Indy loses her engine.

Indy was WELL done by the time we stopped for lunch. She and Cruise chilled in the yards, then Trisha helped Sam with some saddle fitting. Funnily enough, the saddle I *still* have to sell for Catherine fitted Cruise the best, but he was being very grumpy so Sam is going to give him a few weeks off before committing to a saddle purchase.

Them fiddling with saddles and chalk tracings meant Indy could chill beside the arena, ahem, helping Ian with grass control ;) She needed the break and it was good for me to watch Cruise. He was totally done after some groundwork with Trisha, so I became the main focus and hopped on Indy.

She was a star. She hasn't been this "ready" to go before: it was VERY cool to ride. She lined up nicely at the mounting block then stood quietly for me to mount.
We kept riding to a minimum but were able to ramp up our expectations. I started introducing rotation in both directions rather than just the direction of travel. She did a few nice circles and changes of bend and rein. When I remember my elbows and rotation, she is heaps better (I hear Peggy's voice, said with a glint in her eye: "oh, really?!").
We had a short trot (her offering) and a few really soft halts: not nearly so abrupt as they have been. She walked over the short side of the TTEAM labryinth calmly.
Trisha also got me working on some mounted turn-on-the-forehand, to continue the stuff she's started on the ground. Soon I'll be able to ask for that into a walk to encourage her to stretch out and telescope her neck.

A few other musings... Indy is holding her head in a much nicer place.
She is free-er in her walk and much more eager.
She doesn't run out of energy so quickly.
She accepts the contact on rein AND CR rope, as opposed to needing me to go back to just the rope on Wednesday.
Her head is steadier.
She is less on her forehand.

We untacked and Trisha loaded up the photos on her computer for us to look at - some really interesting moments captured. I haven't looked at them on this computer yet.
Before I left, I gave Indy's feet a quick tidy up. She was still VERY sore on the medial bar on her right fore, and had a HUGE old abscess hole on the lateral heel of her left hind, so no wonder she's been a bit short on the arena and over the sharp gravel.

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