Tuesday, 4 March 2014

[Monthly Review] February 2014

Another month has come by and flown on past again and we are know rapidly heading into Spring and also towards the end of my time at University!

February has been a reasonable month with Pea. He started off going really well and seemed to have finally grasped canter! We built it up slowly, just cantering down the long side, half a circle and half the long side, a circle, etc. and then slowly, as he started to feel more comfortable doing more canter strides I increased the canter. I didn't want to push him too much as he can easily get all unsettled and then refuse to canter, but my doing in gradually he started to get really eager to go into canter, often requiring just the slightest leg aid, and would also happily canter further without getting all 'stuffy' and get ready to buck and stop. 

We also worked on forwardness and after a short warm-up of him trying to just meander along, he soon started to work nicely at a good pace with a nice rhythm. This, in turn, helped with straightness and circles as well as letting him to soften as he slowly worked more from behind. By him moving forwards better as well he also tripped less frequently which helped demonstrate that he was using more power from behind and not falling so much on his forehand. I had aimed to book a lesson, however on the 16th, Pea didn't feel quite the same schooling and just was not moving forward in the trot, no matter how much I asked, how many transitions I did and not even when I tapped him with the schooling whip. I asked for canter, and he had one or two iffy moments striking off onto the incorrect lead but then picked it up only to then find it hard to stay straight. After about 35-40 minutes I decided to finish as it was clear that he was struggling. The next morning, I took him out for a quick schooling session to see if he was just having an off day but he was still similar in not wanting to move forwards and finding canter difficult so I decided to call out my chiro again. 

My chiro came out a few days later and confirmed that his pelvis had rotated again, but luckily as I had caught it early he wasn't too tight in his muscles and was to have the usual day off and then go for a walk before being able to return back to normal work. You can read about the chiro visit here. We went for a stroll with my friend as she is only allowed to walk with her mare, so I think both were happy to have company for a change. On the Saturday, I then gave him a quick school and he went better, though not quite as well as he had been but I half expected that. Typically, I then managed to injure myself (this is becoming a recurring theme after Pea's had the chiro!) so he got lunged one day, and then the next I decided to loose jump him as a bit of a change. I rarely jump Pea anymore, which, considering I had originally bought him to jump, I occasionally feel guilty about. Pea seemed to love having a pop over some small fences and happily went into them without me having to half chase him! I then hacked him the next day and schooled the day after and he's starting to go much better. 

I have aimed to compete him on the 23rd March, with the aim that I will have my dissertation all done and bound by then (scary idea!) so I plan on just working on his canter more as well as accuracy such as straight lines and also getting the trot-walk transition better as he sometimes just carries on jogging and doesn't understand why we need to walk for a stride or two! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

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