Last lessons of 2019

Today we went to our last pony party of the year and boy Henry was excited! We were up early and ready for our first lesson at 7.30 and Henry was electric. He was forward a tense being in a group but we put him right to work and he settled. Exactly what I expected!

We started by focusing on the walk, getting them forward but relaxed and stretching. Henry was pumping forward and would relax for a few strides at a time before sticking his head int he air to be a tourist. I just worked on it for a bit and he chilled out a bit.

In the trot we worked on transitions within the pace. We worked on a circle counting strides on a 20m circle, first working out how many stride our horse did in working trot and then shortening and lengthening. I started asking Henry to collect and sit more and he stepped right up and worked fabulously.

We did the same thing in canter and in both trot and canter it was harder for us on the left rein. Henry tried his absolute best though and we got the exercise on both reins quite quickly.

We both had a very useful tune up, I was reminded to sit up straight and Henry was reminded that he's not a tourist, and that he works equally into both reins!

We had a big break between lessons, and since my  coach has a broken leg we helped set up and gear check the other lessons. I also made sure I watched the other lessons for project become a coach.

Henry was just as enthusiastic to jump and working in the group made him quite nervous. He isn't horse shy, but hearing them jump behind him weirds him out so it took a bit of time to settle. He still focused on me while we were jumping but there was a loss of self carriage on the back side of the jumps. We started by popping a single upright with canter poles on each side. It took us quite a few repetitions to get Henry relaxed.

We moved onto a course and Henry felt great, and although our first course was a bit messy, he was game and confident, listening well and remained in self carriage. We repeated the course a number of times with improvements each round. Henry was certainly jumping well however fill added in after he's already jumped is something we need to work on. He stopped coming into a fence that Andrew had sneakily added fill to after we jumped it the first time. After he looked he jumped it fine so he just doesn't like change.

Our final course was awesome, I made good decisions and Henry felt great. Looking back at the pictures, the jumps all look small but they seemed big at the time. I need to remember that Henry finds it all easy and to not be so nervous!

It was a great way to finish the year off and a good measure of how far we have come this year!


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