This month started off quite slowly for Pringles and myself. I had intended to work Pringles for a couple more weeks and then give her a break but she had other plans!
Pringles managed to lose two shoes in the space of two weeks so she ended up having her two weeks off at the start of this month’s training rather than the end. It actually worked out well though, as she has come back feeling stronger and ready for more work.
I have still been focusing on our flat work with our regular weekly dressage lessons with my coach. I have also been asking more questions of her with some harder gymnastic pole work. I really love pole and gymnastic work, as it is useful for improving balance, control and steering. It also requires precision so as a rider I find it makes me more accountable for my aids and helps me to refine them.
I have attached a small video of our flatwork and also some pole work.
In our flat work, we are still working on consistency in the contact and straightnesses (you may have noticed this is a common statement in my updates) and getting Pringles to stretch through her neck and back. I feel we are improving every time. Our consistency at home is fantastic, however, we are continuing to try to get this more consistent in higher-stress environments away from home. It’s a work in progress but we are chipping away.
The pole video shows us having a go at a little canter bounce grid and also a single cross rail fence with placing poles before and after. I was aiming to work on our rhythm and straightness with these exercises. I would like to note that I have built Pringles up to be able to cope with these grids. I like to slowly build up pole exercises to keep the horse engaged and confident. With young/green horses I like to start off with walking poles, then trotting, and then I start to build them up and incorporate the canter and small jumps. Initially starting with single poles and then building from there when the horse is physically and mentally ready.
We are booked in for our first dressage training day this weekend which I am very excited about. This will be our first proper group training environment and I look forward to letting you know how we go!