I don't have a snazzy and concise title, mostly because this post is going to be about several different things. But it is the 600th post ever on my blog! Whoo!
First, I realized that my videos from the August Esprit 2-Phase did not load via Blogger, so I went back and added them into Vimeo instead. Not that anyone is super interested in seeing our baby level dressage and jumping, but now they are there. :-)
I've seen a lot of progress recently with Miss Snappy. It's funny how you can feel as though you have plateaued and nothing is changing, and suddenly things come together. She is no longer having spooking fits about hacking out, which is LOVELY. It is easy to forget she spent the first twelve years of her life either in a stall or on a perfectly groomed racetrack, so things like boulders and trees can be scary. She is finally able to hack around on the buckle, trot a little without dying, and cross a tiny stream. We have ventured out further than the Christmas tree farm next door, riding up and around a trail near the edges of Mt. Cutler. So there are good sized hills but nothing too overwhelming.
I introduced her to a one stride and a bounce (during separate rides), both of which she fumbled through at first and quickly figured out. She is not a bad jumper, she just needs experience and time. I think once her canter is more balanced, her jump will improve even more.
Speaking of canter, that is finally starting to come together. Still not ready for public viewing (haha), but I am now able to canter and then do Other Things afterwards without her melting down. She CAN canter and she will pick up the correct lead easily enough, but anything after we have cantered was a nightmare. It's all in her head, so she needs more time and patience. But sometimes the act of dealing with her after the canter was just too much (not too much as a rider, but just too much for me to want to deal with mentally as well). But the last three times we cantered, I was actually able to have her walk and trot afterwards. It is still a bit rushed and nervous, but she is realizing OH I can still bend! OH I can still trot like a dressage horse! OH I don't have to chew my bit in half because I am so mentally wound up! It's quite a bit nicer and gives me hope LOL!
Not much going on this month. Our busiest show month was August and now that I am back to teaching, I try to keep things manageable. We have a cross country clinic and a third 2-phase at Esprit this month. I would LOVE to try a real horse trial in October but the one I can do isn't the best place to introduce XC. Don't get me wrong, it's a great course, but it is not a simple jaunt around a field for a greenie. I don't want to take her on a windy, woodsy trail and not give her a perfect first XC experience. The farm that has a perfect XC course for her does not have any October events. :-( So instead we also have a choice of two different 2-phases, which might be better. And one is called an "Ultimate 2-Phase", so the jumping phase will be a mix of stadium/XC jumps. It is at the same farm where we have our XC clinic, so I am thinking THIS might be our last show of the year. We will just have to wait until 2017 to try a real 3-phase!