Flying Lead Changes (Almost)

I arrived at the ranch earlier than usual to get my ride done earlier. I groomed Warren, who was a lot cleaner than he had been for the past few weeks. I walked him up to the jumping arena, where two horses were being turned out.

I ended up warming in the main arena for about 15 minutes at the walk and trot. I warmed Warren up in there, working on backing up (which was worse than last week) and getting him to move forward and not lazily plod around the arena. We also worked a bit on trotting on a loose rein as well as neck reining, which actually turned out to be pretty successful.

I moved back up to the jumping arena after warming Warren up, since the horses were taken out of the jumping arena. I set up four trot poles down the centerline of the arena, then hopped on Warren and started going over the trot poles like I had practiced in my previous lessons.

After going over the trot poles a few times to get Warren to adjust to them, my mom helped me elevate every other pole while I did some canter work. I picked up a canter and let him just canter around the arena a couple of times before working on simple lead changes with him. Warren did the simple lead changes with little effort, except some tries when he did not change his lead while changing directions. Those times, he ended up (almost) doing flying lead changes. Instead of changing his lead on both his front and hind legs, he switched leads in the front and left his hind legs, leading to him cross cantering.

We went over the trot poles a few times then cooled down. He was really tired and sweaty from the ride (it doesn’t help he has so much hair and the weather is so warm), so I kept the ride short and walked him down back to his field. I untacked him, gave him a good curry, and gave him his bucket while I cleaned his field. Once I was done, I took him into the dressage arena to roll, then I put him away to have lunch.

Overall, Warren was really good this week! He was pretty responsive to my cues, and he was very willing to move. For myself, I still need to work on pushing my chest out, but my equitation has definitely improved greatly from a few months ago.

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Elevated Trot Poles?

Warren and I had a lesson yesterday in the jumping arena, and to my surprise, it was a great lesson!

I tacked Warren up quickly then walked him up to the jumping arena at the top of the hill. I warmed him up by doing walk and trot transitions, as well as doing a lot of backing up. During the last lesson we had, Warren had struggled with backing up straight. He would swing his hip over every time I asked him to back, but this week was entirely different. After only a few rough attempts to back up, Warren would smoothly be able to back up straight with much less contact on his face.

When my lesson actually did start, we worked on trot poles. Warren was moving nicely, willingly moving forward unlike the usual lazy drag he did. We started the lesson with extending Warren’s trot while my trainer set up four trot poles in the middle of the arena.

I trotted down centerline and went over the trot poles, then changed directions from the way we were traveling originally. We continued to do this several times until we found the perfect length for Warren’s stride, then my trainer elevated every other trot pole. We continued the exercise, adding leg yields and loping.

I loped him in two point to allow him to go forward and get his energy out while allowing him to lift his back, and I have to say, my riding muscles need a tune up (really badly). I found myself falling out of two point and sitting as we rounded the corners of the arena.

Overall, the lesson was extremely successful, despite my (terrible) struggles with my equitation. I cooled (a very, very sweaty) Warren down after the lesson, untacked him, then let him roll to finish the ride.

Also, I’m doing summer camp again this year! But instead of being a camper, I will be assisting a counselor in teaching a beginner camp all about horses and riding. Camp will be from June 8 to June 19 and I’m super excited!

Starting Over

Hello everybody! I decided to move to this blog, In the Eyes of an Equestrian, from my old blog, Just That Random Horse Blog. Though I had that blog for a long time, I had pretty much abandoned it completely (My last post was in September 2014). I decided I wanted to return to blogging, and I wanted to start over after my hiatus from writing.

As an equestrian who leases a horse, I plan to write about my experiences with horses, share my riding goals and achievements, and provide information about horses! I will have a goal of posting at least once a week, with time permitting.

I’m excited to get this blog going and to start writing again!