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Thread: Leo's Diary

  1. #21
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    We had a lesson this morning. At the moment we're focusing on getting him supple and increasing the time he can work in an outline. Today he was in an argumentative mood. He has two forms of evasion, head up in my nostrils or head down between his knees.

    My position is getting a long stronger so I'm actually riding him into a correct frame. Before I was struggling because I've mainly hacked Boss out gently for the last couple of years and my fitness was non existent.

    He improved towards the end so we had a go at some counter canter which he picked up quite nicely. Aiming to get him out to a few prelims over winter and hopefully move up to novice next year once the outline is more consistent. Ultimately I'd love to take him to a ODE

  2. #22

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    Sounds like you'll get there!

  3. #23
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    Not updated this for a while...

    We went XC schooling with the RC last weekend. Overall he was a star and jumped most of the things I asked him to, went in the water no issues but I discovered being low down is not good when the water is quite deep!
    We had one issues over a skinny, I wasn't feeling very confident so I didn't ride him into it which resulted in a run out. RI came over and gave me some pointers, I popped him over it twice and then left it at that. It knocked my confidence a bit but at the same time I know the reason he ran out was because I was riding like an idiot and was doubting whether we would get over it. I did then continue to do a couple of the 2ft3 course and did a few drops/banks before stringing a few together at the end of the session. Also discovered he bucks! We kept having to go last over the fences as Leo was the most sensible, he was getting more and more wound up until we went over a fence and on landing he stuck his head between his legs and bronced. No harm done but I will have to watch out for that from now on!

    We have a dressage clinic tomorrow morning, hoping I'll get to work on his canter as I've just been hacking this week making the most of the final nights of light after work

  4. #24
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    The clinic went well, he produced some nice work and wasn't too spooky considering it was quite blowy and there were lots of signs/banners flapping in the wind. RI said I need to start taking him out to get a bit of mileage under his belt.

    Last weekend I had a lesson on Saturday morning. I felt a bit like we'd taken a step back as we had major arguments and he wasn't in the mood for working. At the end he did a few moments of niceness which was at least a good note to finish on. He was also falling out/in through his right side a lot, RI had us working off the track so I could try and keep in straight and stop him drifting around where he pleased/avoiding working.
    I've been working on that in the school this week and he was slightly improved. Trying to get him doing lots of leg yielding, circles spiralling in and out and transitions to get him a bit sharper. He's forward going but his evasion technique is head up my nostrils and shuffle along.

    I've got another clinic on Saturday and then I've entered dressage on Sunday. Not sure when I am going to have time to practise the tests as I want to get him out for a couple of hacks now so he doesn't get stale. May have to ride before work one day and just run through them quickly before the school gets busy!

  5. #25
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    The clinic on Saturday went well, still had a few issues with straightness. I need to remember to ride him forward at those points as he goes all stuffy and I throw the contact away. Overall very productive and enjoyable as normal though.

    Yesterday I went to a local venue and took him in prelim 18. I felt like he went quite nicely other than his canter which was rushed and unbalance. Still the thing he struggles with most so to be expected. I was unplaced with a score of 56.8. (I think).
    Lots of comments about him being hollow. And one said 'canter was wildly out of control'...oops! He also defaulted to cantering on the left lead so lost marks for that as well.
    Watching the video back I can see what the judge meant, I compare him to how he was when I got him. He's come along way but we've still got loads to improve on.
    On the plus side he was well behaved and coped very well with a rubbish surface and a spooky school!

  6. #26
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    He looks great - such a bright eye Glad things are going well overall, it's not a bad thing to have targets in mind.



  7. #27
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    Thanks soot
    He tries his best and that's all I can ask of him. I know everything will click in the end, he's spent so long not being able to use his back (horrible saddle previous to me) that it's not something he finds easy

  8. #28
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    Saturday 16th November - Took Leo to a riding club show jumping clinic. The trainer is very good, he gives really good feedback and is very good at upping your confidence.
    Working on courses today, I had originally booked in to do the 2ft 3 group. However, I had a confidence wobble after the XC clinic and hadn't jumped since then so decided to swap into the jumping with confidence session.

    There were 2 other in a session, a lady on a young welsh who was using jumping to get her horse interested in canter work. And another lady on a mahooosive ID x who had issues with her horse becoming tense when excited. We worked in over poles, riding the lines before we put the fences up.
    Leo finds polework very dull but he had to think a little bit because the poles were set out for 17.2 strided horses, not little 14hh ponies.

    Then popped up a x-pole to work over, no problem. Felt my confidence coming back already. Eventually the whole course went up (only stayed small, just under 2ft ish) and we popped round first. Double down the long side, then over a double across the diagnol with some brush fillers. Round to a double over the other long side, which had nice colourful planks in. Really had to ride Leo into, he gave the first a bit (a lot) of air. Tried to duck out of the second but managed to keep my leg on and he popped it nicely. Then onto a skinny, which was a dog leg into another set of planks. Ben (the RI) said it was too easy for Leo and me (I didn't think so but I think Leo agreed), and gave me some stuff to do with my position. Namely getting into a light seat on landing before sitting up for the next fence.

    At this point the lady on the welsh had her turn and unfortunately took a tumble over the planks (cheeky refusal and spin). I then got off and helped catch him, luckily he settled and I managed to get him in the corner. Luckily she was fine, got back on and did it again.

    We finished with Ben putting the fences up to give me 'something proper to jump'. It looked big, my helpers for the day assured me it was tiny. He went round nicely, the bigger fences actually gave me something to ride for and Leo does do a nicer job when he has to try. Fences we more around the 2ft3ish size, not huge by any means. However, I rode it confidently so I was pleased.

    You can't help but smile when you ride Leo, he is such a happy pony who tries his heart out. If he is worried he really takes his confidence from his rider, which is where we had the issue at the XC clinic.

  9. #29
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    Trying to think what we've been doing over the last couple of weeks...

    We've had a couple of lessons, one with my normal RI and one with the RC dressage instructor. Leo went really well in both sessions, he was really working into a nice frame and using his back muscles a lot more consistently. With me RC instructor we did an exercise which involved placing 6 poles down the centre line, instead of riding over them I rode round them, first right handed circles, then left, then alternating. Really got Leo to shift his shoulders when he turned, although it made me feel a bit dizzy/sick . Still enjoying lessons and he is still improving so not masses else to report there.

    Friday 6th I had the day off work so took Leo out XC schooling. Had a lot of fun, went out with the aim of just playing over the smaller jumps. Did that and even a bit more so was very please and had a lot of fun. Here are a couple of pics from the end






    RC clinic on sunday which will probably be our last jumping outing of the year

  10. #30
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    Had a lesson yesterday and he went really, really well. Worked in a lovely outline for a large majority of the time and was really working over his back and using himself correctly, looked (and felt) like a proper dressage pony
    Since he was going so nicely we had a crack at some bits of a novice test. Our first attempt at medium trot and I was very surprised that he actually showed some nice and correct paces
    Finished with some counter canter which we had done before, he was getting a bit tired and grumpy at this point so just did one on each rein before cooling down.

    Bit of a pointless update but happy that my work is paying off. He no longer fights and gets tense to the degree he used to and we spend more time is a nice outline than throwing tantrums

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