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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

More Good Rides.

I have had a bunch of good rides this week. Did some dressage schooling on Monday and Thursday (tonight). Monday's canters were excellent. We also did a bunch of trot poles and small gymnastic jumps.

Thursday's canter to the right was fabulous, soft and easy and no scrambling. I did a half of a 20 m. circle at the canter, and then half at the trot, then canter in the same spot, then trot. We did it four times and she stayed soft and round for the FIRST TIME EVER! And her pacing steps were very minimal, which was exciting.

Dreamy did, however, have a really hard time picking up the left canter lead. It has been weeks since she has refused to canter to the left. I hate when she does the pace-pace-pace-pace, throw my head racehorse thing. It is so ugly and hard to sit. So we went back to something she COULD do easily (trotting long and low on the circle) and then tried again. I also did some turns on the forehand to get her ready to canter.

She picked up the left lead canter twice as soon as I asked. So I quit cantering and did some walking/halting/backing. That was enough for one night.

Tuesday was a day off. Wednesday we JUMPED a full 2'3" - 2'6" course! Yeah! We have not jumped a full course since October 2007 and that was 2' and under. Her canter between jumps is SO MUCH better. I did use the trot as a half-halt, instead of allowing her to get strung out in the canter. No use approaching a jump in a strung out and unbalanced canter. That would be one ugly looking jump.

Our steering over fences has improved a lot. Dreamy's forwardness and boldness have increased as well. She did not look twice at anything. She actually did hesitant for a second on the second jump of the two stride the first time through, but it only lasted a second.

It is funny though.....our dressage has improved because of our lessons (aka improving MY equitation). Now we need jumping lessons because I know my elbows are sticking out and my seat is too far out of the saddle! Oh well....one step at a time.

I plan to hack her out tomorrow (Friday) and then give her Saturday off. She is always better at a show when she has the day before off (or just has a light hack). Sometimes she is so different than any other horse I have owned/leased/competed/ridden. LOL! I hope the SPHO show goes well, especially with J coming up. We shall see.

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