Hard work hopefully pays off

Two horses, 3 days, 4 lessons... safe to say my body hurts, and I am sure the horses are feeling similar.

She tries so hard!
Our quiet few weeks are over, we are back into another busy few weeks with a bang! Dakota and I has a jumping lesson on Sunday afternoon, working on rhythm, pace and straightness. I have been having a few issues with her running, and then not allowing her to go forward enough. So I had to allow her more forward, which meant we got to the right spots to take off and had a much better ride. I also have to be softer to the fences and squeeze to take off. Not kick! She is far too sensitive for that. I tend to get a little over excited and do too much. 

When we get it right it looks good too!
Monday morning my alarm went off and I woke up feeling like I hadn't had enough weekend again... until I remembered I had 2 lessons with Manu! That got me out of bed quick smart.

First lesson of the day!
Coolie was first up, and as usual Manu spent a couple of minutes catching up with what we have been doing, and then watching us. About 2 seconds in she had us sussed (again!) and started working on an exercise to get Coolie more consistent into the contact. Over the last 2 years we have been building up to this, first getting his straight, then forward, then strong, now contact! This has always been something we haven't been able to achieve, and leads to tension. By the end of the session I was knackered, the horse was knackered, and we had plenty of homework. 

Looking pretty sweet
We weren't done yet though, as 45 minutes later it was Dakotas turn. Both of my horses have similar issues with tension, so we worked on getting Dakota to stretch and open her neck down and out. This was very hard for her and really highlighted where she was crooked. She also needs to build a lot of strength. 

Down, round and relaxed
We worked on her leg yield and shoulder in, which improved greatly. Manu said I will see great improvement in straightness and strength in a couple of weeks if I add shoulder in. We finished up with another tired pony and an even more tired rider, who then headed off to work. 

This morning I was up well before the sun for another lesson with Manu. It was rather cold, and dark, and I have a very dedicated OH! Coolies turn again as I don't think Dakota would have coped with a third lesson in as many days, and Coolie had made such good progress the day before. I hopped on and he was like a different horse! I asked for him to work into the contact straight away, head went down and stayed there! AMAZING! We did the same exercise with him that Dakota and I had done the day before, but mostly in canter. He found it a lot easier and picked it up pretty quick. Then we moved on to leg yield, which was pretty good, and then shoulder in, which took a lot of work and travier, which took even more work. By the end we had it, and my super star pony was knackered all over again!

Far more relaxed over the back, if a little over bent
Sun was up by the time we were done 

 This weekend Dakota and I are off to the Wooroloo International 3 Day Event, which is a first for both of us. Coolie gets to relax at home, but not for long, the next event is just around the corner.


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