Thursday, 31 January 2013

[Monthly Review] January 2013

Rain. Snow. Strong Winds. Oh what a great start to 2013 we have had! 

I have decided to start monthly round-ups. On my last blog I did weekly round-ups but found these hard to keep up with and if  hadn't really done much in the week then they were a bit boring if I'm honest! 

This month, due to the weather, exams and other various reasons I have not been able to ride as much as hoped. In fact, Pea is having yet another day off today after three days off and then a 20 minute battle in the wind due to the fact that my body feels more like that of a 90 year old as opposed to a 19 year old :/ However, the odd bit of riding that has been done has shown that Pea is like a changed horse and I really cannot wait to see what this year brings for us! 

New Years day I jumped him for the first time in a long time and really got him moving which resulted in him jumping the best he's jumped in a long time! We only kept it small as I've lost a lot of confidence and would rather get the technique and confidence good over small fences rather than jump bigger ones just because it 'looks' and 'sounds' better (incase you haven't gathered, it's a slight pet peeve of mine of people that jump big when they haven't got the foundations right!). Since then, we've not done any more jumping which is annoying as I'm hoping to get my confidence up again this year and start show-jumping again possibly next year! Pea's schooling is coming on so well and he's like a different horse! He's much more forward going and it's taking me a bit to get used to his new way of going, haha! He's so much more willing to work and is really starting to use himself and offers outline more often and doesn't with his head in the air as much as what he used to. Bending is still a slight issue but we're working on it by using half-halts and then applying the aid for leg-yield to keep him from falling in and also leg-yielding around corners has really helped. 

He wasn't too impressed with the wind!

Due to the weather, when I have had chance to get the indoor I've had to share with someone. Our indoor is tiny and it makes it hard to really get any work and with Pea's canter issues, we've had to just work on walk or trot as it's too small for him to canter comfortably, even though it's the same size as a dressage arena which he can happily canter in (I sometimes wonder how his brain works!). At first I was quite apprehensive about having to share the indoor, hence I hardly rode, but the times that we have had to share Pea has been like a different horse (I'm really starting to think he is!). He pays little attention to the other horse, completely focused on his work and what I am asking of him, even when I do transitions or half-halts by the other horse which used to give him an excuse to nap, but now he just carries on as if there's no one there! 

I'm so proud of how far Pea has come on and for February my plans are:
 - We have our first competition on the 6th doing Intro and Prelim so fingers crossed we do well
 - Get jumping again
 - Possibly start working on movements found in a Novice test. 

Whilst his canter is still an issue, I've found that trying to focus on getting it better, it's easier to accept it and just ask for canter without trying to keep pushing on more canter strides, etc etc and instead just sit quietly and let him sort himself out, after all he's happier to canter away from home in a competition when I'm not badgering him so maybe it will work at home! (He's not cantered for about 3 or more weeks so it could be exciting the next time we try!)

That's all for now! 
Laura & Pea x

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