Thursday, 3 July 2014

[Monthly Review] June 2014

I swear this year seems to be flying by! Though, I probably end up saying that about each year... With University over and fewer things to fill my days up with, it has meant that I have been able to concentrate on Pea a bit more and work him more! I think it is definitely starting to pay off, but it's a still a slow and steady process! 

At the beginning of the month I had a lesson with my instructor, Cathy, as I was having a few control issues (you can read about the lesson here). Previously, Pea has been more of a backward thinking horse and a little on the lazy side, however, as of the past month or two he seems to have definitely found his inner rocket! So much so that I found myself losing control slightly when trying to school him in canter as he would tank off a bit, grabbing the bit and going onto his forehand thus not using his back-end. During the lesson, we worked on pole work and ensuring that I sit up and push him forwards still to utilise the energy properly. We seem to have begun to grasp this over the past few weeks and I definitely feel like I have more control in canter, though we do have the odd moment! We now need to work on getting him to relax more into the contact and loosen his body up a bit more in canter to try and achieve bend so I plan on trying the dreaded canter fan poles which caused me to ungracefully hang round Pea's neck in my lesson - but needs must! Hopefully this time I'll be better prepared and he'll start to find it easier the more we do it! 
Why you don't turn wet ponies out!

I have also been lunging him at least once a week using his side reins, though I'm yet to buy a roller - using his saddle is a bit of a pain, and I have begun to notice a difference in how he holds himself on the circle. Previously, he would often fall in on the circle, then go off in more of a straight line, and really not bend round well at all but when I lunged him last week he seemed a lot better at remaining on the circle. He is also happy to canter round a good few times and be further out on the line, where as previously he would slow down if he was far out on the line resulting in me needing to walk in large circles and chase him! The one issue we do seem to have is doing transitions down to walk and halt unless it's at the end...I often have to pull him in and still he tries to run off! So if anyone has any advice then that would be great! 

We have also been out hacking regularly and he is his normal silly self...trying to canter off when I ask for trot or spooking at the silliest of things, but I have come to learn that that is Pea and that is just how he will be! 

As I posted the yesterday, we went competing at the weekend and he produced some nice scores (you can read about that here). I'm hoping to get him out again this month but we're having a few issues with our trailer or tow bar - the lights keep playing up and we don't know which it is! Though I'm hoping that we might be getting a new trailer shortly as ours is really old (I want a small lorry but that's taking a bit more persuasion!). I also hope to maybe pop him over a few more jumps this month, though I jumped him the other day and realised he is definitely more dressage fit than jumping fit! We can happily school for 45-60 minutes (I'm amazed how I can do this now, previously I used to school for 30 minutes and wonder how people could do any longer but now I can't do any shorter than 45 minutes!) yet popping him over a couple of fences caused him to tire a lot quicker! Though the warm weather probably didn't help either!

What are you plans for July?

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

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