Thursday, January 26, 2012
First I hopped on Sparky. I wanted to see what kind of horse I had under me before I committed to either flatwork or jumping; there are some days that trying to do flatwork with him is an exercise in futility. By Sparky's way of going, I could tell that pressing for "serious" flatwork just wasn't happening, so we did some W-T-C (which was all actually fairly good), and then went back and forth over a crossrail a few times. I really focused on using my aids and starting to the right and finishing to the left (see the Greg Best clinic entries) to prevent his shift right (which was *quite* marked during our "how high can we go" day). I really need to make a conscious effort to make these corrections with him so we don't run into problems as the fences go up. After a few (maybe 8-10?) good jumps, we stopped and cooled out.
I got Star out next, despite her baleful look as I went out to the pasture to get her. I put her in her standard "flatting bit," which as of right now is a double-jointed eggbutt. Star really needs to build her topline and butt muscles back up; she looks so front-heavy right now, it's not even funny. We warmed up with a bit of trot and canter (Star's walk is so pokey and lazy that I long ago abandoned trying to use it to warm up), and then went back to a decent walk on a circle, with a bit more bend and connection. We then moved up into the trot, and continued our circle. I really tried to keep her stretched down and over her back and correctly bent. As we trotted a bit more, we added a little bit of spiraling and some trot-halt-trot transitions to get her engaging her hind end. Finally, right near the end of our right, she nailed it - I felt the best engagement of her hind end that I have ever felt from Star.
It's supposed to rain tonight, so no barn, but tomorrow might be okay. The footing should be really nice in the arena tomorrow, so as long as the weather forecast is not lying to me and traffic doesn't completely suck, I'll do horsey stuff tomorrow night.