I'm happy to report that our April goals are starting off with a bang! Rose and I have been having a blast this week. My body on the other hand is super sore as a result. It's a happy sore though. Rose and I are both working hard enough now that I'm finally getting some semblance of muscle tone back.
Pretty girl in the pasture.
On Wednesday it was a balmy and sunny 60ºF day with no wind, so I decided to ride Rose outside. I haven't ridden her outside in at least a year, possibly longer, so I decided to play it conservative and just ride on the flat with our goal for the day to work on flying changes some more. Rose was very well behaved outside, the best she's probably ever been actually. In the past she's get heavy on the forehand,strong, and distracted. She would never running away, bolt, or doing anything naughty, but it would not necessarily be a pleasant ride. That's all changed! She was awesome, and the very first time I asked her for the flying change... BAM! She enthusiastically (a bit too much) jumped into her new lead. Regardless, she clearly remembered what to do, so she got lots of praise and we repeated it a couple more times before calling it a day.
Mugging, after our ride.
Thursday's weather was overcast and a bit chilly, so we rode inside and began our gymnastics work. In an effort to continue taking baby steps I set up two exes, 18' apart, with a 9' trot pole before the first exe. To start we walked and trotted just the first exe as a single. She is very comfortable doing this now, and went over it quietly like it was yesterday's news. Shortly thereafter, I set up the second exe and took her through that. The first time through she lost her nerve and tried to bulk at the second fence. Luckily there isn't much room for running out of an 18' combo, especially when you came into the first fence at the walk. She was easy to stop, correct, redirect, and popped over the fence. After that she didn't try to run out once, and continued going through the line. She was doing better by the end, but I can tell she's a little anxious about the combo, so we will keep repeating what we did on Thursday until she's going through it nice and quiet. After that I will keep the striding the same, but raise the second fence to a 2' vertical, and so on.