Donovan has had a fairly quiet week since Barbury but schooled beautifully yesterday – I was working on getting him to take the rein forward more and especially soften and go into the outside rein. I really tried to keep my hands forward and soft plus use my outside (not inside!) rein and leg aids to turn and keep his outside shoulder “up” more. He was fab and I was really pleased with how he settled and relaxed while keeping the forwardness.
Today we did some more skinny/corner practice, which I am trying to do more regularly at the moment to keep us both on the ball. I like to do this in the bit that I am using for the XC so that we both get the same feel. I had a few single fences out, which I jumped straight and at angles to warm up.
Then onto the skinny blue barrels that I had built on a 4/5 stride curving line. I built the skinny corner so that we could jump it both ways – he was great with it as a left hand corner but although staying between the “flags” with the right hand corner he didn’t keep as straight – we practiced both a few times. I finished with stringing a few fences together to make sure we can go forward and back and get the turns (as much as possible in our 40x20m arena!!)
Flicka has spent most of the week hacking out and is being very grown up going everywhere on her own – meeting lots of scary things, cars and even a big lorry… taking it all in her stride! Today we went back in the school and although we had a tiny bit of stroppiness, she softened and moved beautifully.
Then we played over a few fences and popped over the blue barrels on their other side. She has quite a ping!! I was pleased that she settled to being more conservative with her jump after the first couple of times over though. I’m looking forward to getting her out to some small shows.