August 6, 2010
I worked with Jackson twice today. The first time was for about 45 minutes with my brother lunging Jackson and then watching me ride to correct me. I think that the exercises I am doing on the lunge are helping. I feel less off balance every time. The one that really seems to be getting better is lifting my knees up one at a time and then together. That was really hard when I first started, now it is easier.
My brother, Conner, keeps Jackson going at the trot while I do my exercises. After that is all done, I ride Jackson around and Conner lets me know if my arms go forward or if my feet go forward. Today we combined that with TAG training. I tossed him the clicker and had him click when my body was in the correct position. I am trying to develop muscle memory.
Conner said that he thinks I am getting better. He said I am keeping my feet back without him having to tell me.
Jackson does really well on the lunge line. He is getting where he stays pretty much at whatever speed you put him at.
Then I rode Jackson around, practicing keeping upright and keeping the same seat. I am trying not to use the stirrups.
Jackson did really well, but then we had to go eat lunch.
I came back outside a little later and went and messed with Sadeem for a couple of minutes, until Jackson came up.
Then I put Jackson in the round pen and did just a little work in there. Mostly, we did a little piaffe on long lines and a little ballancer.
Then I took him to the big pasture and practiced some liberty circling, companion leading, driving from behind, ballancer, obeisance, lay down, and side passing. It was really fun and Jackson did great.
After watching Karen’s video, I felt renewed determination to keep working on circling at liberty. I am playing with that and developing it through companion walking. Yesterday when I worked on it, he would stay circling with me at the walk, but would tend to move away at the trot. If he turned toward me at all, I would click.
Today was much better. He was circling toward me at the walk and trot. He would even start doing a bigger trot on cue around me. I am moving with him right now, but I am sure I will be able to get him to do it while I am standing still eventually. To the right, he even walked a full circle while I stood there!
Then I saddled him up and did some work. I need to make a video tomorrow for an audition for a local competition. So I did some piaffe, passage, walk pirouettes, half pass at the walk and trot, and Spanish Walk. In between all of that, I practiced haunches in and shoulder in, mostly at the walk.
I also did some rein back to trot transitions. I was amazed how quickly he got that. I felt that his Spanish walk really improved. There were a couple of times when I am sure he was lifting the base of his neck and really using his hind end while lifting his leg and then setting it down softly! Very fun.
That’s about it.