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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 …

The Elusive Canter has Returned!

I kept forgetting to post this last week, but apparently the canter is BACK! Dreamy had found a nice canter earlier in July and then we lost it again. Well, it came back on Thursday and Friday! YAY! There was no rushing, galloping, or general crankiness. I asked and she did it.

I have a feeling that creating a balanced 3-beat "dressage worthy" canter will take a few more of these setbacks. I have been so used to progressing this year that I wrongly assumed the canter would follow a similarly linear training pattern. NOPE. It has literally been 5 steps forward, 3 steps back. Now we seem to have taken a few more steps forward.

At first it was simply CANTER. I did not care what it looked like, I just wanted her to learn the cue to canter and simply that it was OK to canter. I worked on eliminating her tendency to start pacing 30 mph when I asked to canter....and simply go from the trot to the canter. Then we worked on tempo and rhythm. Suddenly in July she began to relax and come onto the bit at the canter. That was HUGE progress. (See my post from July). And the canter had a bit more lift, as opposed to being so flat and strung out. It is hard for a STB who is bred to go long, low, and fast to suddenly collect and have "lift" in the canter. I realize I am working against her breeding.

Then of course we had the setback.....all of a sudden she reverted back to pacing 30 mph when asked to canter and GALLOPING instead of cantering. So I just went back to the exercises I had figured we had mastered (note to self: never assume that again) and suddenly last week the canter magically came back! LOL!

Baby steps.....

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