L Program: The Riding Portion
As I mentioned yesterday, the crowded and noisy atmosphere created by nearly 80 spectators and auditors made Bast quite tense. I had warmed up extensively in the trot and canter, attempting to take the edge off of his reactions. I also had the benefit of Emma in the crowd and well stocked with “emergency-mints”. She was able to reach out and feed him one early in the process, to help him associate the rolling mass with good things.
|It helps to have your horse's new bestie planted in the crowd. Lol|
|Relax, my man.|
We started at the walk. Yukins explained how she wanted the riders to show the walk, both on contact and off. Using the ring to do large figures. She was not very specific, leaving it to the riders to show the horse as they saw best.
|I'll take this walk all the time, thank you very much.|
|Walking on contact, and begging him to stay up not drop behind.|
|Ugh, that mouth though.|
|Yaass auction trot... for a few steps. Until we fell on our face.|
Soon it was time to show off the canter, which Yukins had us show one at a time. I want to take a moment to be happy with Bast’s canter departs. They were very up, and not necessarily very pretty. However, he did transition to the canter obediently and with little use of the “thrusters”. Much improved transitions from our show the weekend prior. These still take such a careful ride from me, and we continue to fine tune them. I purposefully placed all my transitions at the far end of the ring from the auditors/participants. I did this both because of how amped and distracted the crowd made my horse, as well as because I know they are a weak point for us.
|If you squint you can see the transition...|
|Lol. Just. Lol.|
|The amount of improvement in his canter is really outrageous. I can't imagine where it will be if this trajectory continues!|
|Relaxation is the name of the game, boys and girls.|