So a quick look back at Thursday... and yes, I realise I've gotten somewhat behind on the blog posts! If I recall correctly, I had four jump lessons that day as well, mirroring the lessons the day before. First up was Pastrocito-- and I had a fantastic time on him! I managed to keep in mind what Martin had recommended the day before, get the pace, and he jumped like a star around the small course and through the combination. Tons of fun and I had that good ol' warm fuzzy feeling of success (success feels warm and fuzzy, right? Or is that affection? Possibly heat stroke...) Next up was Twilight, and we did a course much the same with him. The importance of forward, with impulsion, with direction, with intention was always emphasized, and I'm amazed at how much of it is mental. For instance, if I pick up the canter and look to a pole, or to a pattern I'd like to execute, my horse instantly feels more engaged, more attentive and more obedient. If I slub along with no real plan, it gives him an excuse to amuse himself with a spook, a bulge, a buck or what else have you.
On my next horse, Silene, we moved to a different exercise: a canter-in one stride to a bounce to an even shorter bounce. It was a difficult exercise calling for a lot of balance and cattiness on the part of the horses. Silene nailed it the first time, and Martin told me to leave her there. Felt great.
On Virtuoso, the cute, cocky, shiny stallion, we repeated the exercise, and once again I was very impressed by the boldness and real intelligence of these young horses. The exercise was a real challenge, but Virtuoso clocked in on it and bounced through without a glitch. Martin reminded me that in a combination involving that much power from the horse, it's very necessary to stay either with them or behind them, but never to get ahead.
The rest of the day was filled with the usual barn duties, cleaning tack and watering horses and the like! It's getting a lot warmer here and as per usual I've managed to burn a very attractive pattern on myself...