I feel so lucky to spend time with these kids -- I somehow stumbled across some of the best kids and students California has to offer, I'm sure of it.
It was raining.
I bullied Tango into a "jump" school, which basically involved making sure I had brakes installed, walking/trotting him over the little X's in hand, and then trotting him up to the jumps. He feels so green over the jumps. He's wobbly, and unsure of his feet, and just a regular nightmare. I practiced stopping after each jump on a (relatively) straight line, then praising him a lot. I have no go issues, he doesn't hestitate or try to dodge out at all, he's just gigantic and unbalanced. His proprioception isn't really there.
I'm going to incorporate some TTeam exercises into our workouts because I've never come across a better way to teach a horse where their own feet are.
As long as we're flatting, he's pretty good about allowing me to place his feet. Obviously we have a long way to go, but he's trusting me more. The second I even ask him to trot poles he gets all wonky and nervous - but I don't think it's me anymore. He used to be untrusting of the bit and panic if he felt too trapped, but now I think it's just that he has no idea what's going to happen to his legs. This could mean he'd develop into a very clean jumper, or just mean that we'll keep him at low fences forever just as a different sort of workout.
Then Tango got a bath. He was very upset.
But he minded less when we came into the barn.
|He has grain and a cooler and yes, those girls are wearing a blanket.|
Jimmy got round penned a bit, both as part of a lesson and because I didn't really want to school him. It's always interesting to see how the horses respond to the minute differences between people when in the roundpen. I tend to be a little aggressive in the round pen because I'd rather be certain when I take the pressure off and ask the horse to come in, they're going to be quiet and not try to trample me.
Due to the crazy amount of rain there was a gigantic puddle in the arena. Never one to pass up a useful opportunity, I had the girls tack up Danny and Camou and we tackled that puddle just like it was a water jump. Watching them coach the horses into the puddle reminded me of Alois Podhajsky saying:
Young riders will be better suited for the first lessons of a horse than older ones. Apart from the fact that in all probability they would be lighter, they are likely to make less demands on the horse. Experienced riders might, from sheer boredom, try to demand more from a young horse than his muscular development is capable of.The girls did a great job coaching the horses through the water and it gave me confidence for how they'll develop when we're practicing real courses (I know that this "water jump" was at home, in their trusted arena, but still! It's a good introduction.) I got some pretty silly slow motion videos of the girls going through the giant puddle!
I also acquired a very dirty blue heeler in the process.
After all the rain it turned into a pretty cool night. Happy Halloween all!