Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mo' progress mo' progress!

Another flat school, another gush about how great Soon is.  :)

Worked on creating more impulsion from behind, creating some overstep in the walk while asking for a long, low stretch across his entire topline (lifting his back).  I felt some great connection at the walk just warming up.  We did our usual flexion exercises, a light trot warmup (focusing on straight and forward, not concerned with contact at that point).  Then asked for some long/low trot work and worked in some figure eights to change the bend.  Then cantered both directions (right lead transition getting more consistent!), focusing each way on riding him from my seat and leg and allowing him to stretch down.  We had a few nice moments of stretch each way - that's a new concept for him in the canter, so I wasn't asking for a whole lot.  Closed out the session transitioning between a shorter and longer outline (aka frame) in the working trot, then stretched out at the trot and finally ended with a nice, long walk on a long rein.  Huge praise the whole way!  I'm starting to feel some really nice swing in his walk, particularly at the end of the work, though there were hints of it during the walking warm up as well. 

He learns so fast and tries so hard it blows my mind.  It helps that he's pretty athletic as well.  He is already very rideable for two and a half months off the track, and rides like he's been a sport horse all his life.  So light, so soft, so responsive.  I just can't get over how nice it is to have him ride THAT well off of my leg and into the contact.  He's great and doesn't avoid the bit at all, but he seeks it and is understanding more and more of how to go.  I'm going to start introducing more lateral work here shortly.  Admittedly it's not been a huge focus, as I have all winter to do that.

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