I am glad we were able to find out more but really disappointed. I really liked Gillis, his personality, he made me feel safe, I always had a smile on my face when I rode him both times but I am also looking for a partner to learn from/with and to move up the grades with and if Gillis wasn't going to go on that journey with me then it is better not to start I guess.
But more about the star of the blog.............................
Sam is a show jumper!!!!! On the weekend I set up a small jump in the back paddock to shake things up a bit. The ground is very soft at the moment due to our rain so I was happy to do this even with Sam’s pedal ostitis. We jumped about 50cm high and of course we felt very professional! I warmed Sam up by starting with trotting over the trot poles, then I made it into a cross rail so I guess it was about 30cm high and then straightened it up to make it 50cm! Sam happily cantered into all of them, although not very straight – a lot of left leg was needed to help keep him straight and our judging of distance isn’t very good but we made it over! On the right canter lead he would pick his hooves up but on the left canter lead he would forget to pick them up and struggled more with the distance.
I have no idea how to help them with distance so I keep them forward into the jump and let them figure it out. I figure I am not going to compete or jump great heights so I shouldn’t over whelm him too much. I few times he started out a little early so the jump was huge and long but I found I was very good at my release so not to catch him in the mouth.
The main difference I noticed was that he was listening a lot more, sharper to my aids, and tracking up! The tracking up thing thrilled me because that is what I have a lot of trouble with in the arena. Now I know it was something different, in an open paddock but how do I get that in the arena!!!!!
On Sunday I rode in the arena and we were back to not tracking up – I tried to ride like I did the day before – asking for things assertively and trying to be more precise but this didn’t help. I did get some foaming on the left hand side though – THIS NEVER HAPPENS! I took him back out the back paddock and wow Sam was tracking up so much I thought – I wish I had but bell boots on! The canter transitions were fantastic. Our down transitions were a little abrupt – I wasn’t riding them forward enough but he would listen to go straight back up a gait again. So nice! Now I need to be able to sit to it! Sam really isn’t all that comfortable at the sit trot, even when he does give you his back!
It has turned really cold here. Temperature wise it isn't too bad but the wind chill factor is freezing!!!! Sam has blown his coat and is now a fluffy pony! We really need to get the hot water organised to the washbay!