Riding Journal with Comanche
So, I wanted a place to write down any progress I make with my old roommate's horse, Comanche. She is out of town for over a month, so I've decided to see what kind of work I can get out of him (as I already agreed to work him, let him out, etc. for her). He's pretty talented, so I'm excited :)
Decent conformation Pretty talented with lateral work. Easily engages the inside hind. Left side is stronger than right. Dislikes the right lead.
Comanche hasn't been ridden for a while, so we'll keep the ride to about 30-40 minutes. Entered the arena excitable (brought on by his "best friend" mare running around outside our covered arena in turn-out). Worked on moving off inside leg to get "working brain" going. Walk work, long rein to allow for stretch. Shoulder-in work, turning through the hind around the arena corners, sometimes cutting off to the second track to move into a leg-yield. Swap sides and repeat. Nice suppling and loosening. Move on to trot work and repeat. Tendency to slip out through the outside shoulder and hip-began to concentrate more on not having holes in my outside aids. Nice swing through the hips. Brain working, beginning to enjoy his task. VERY light canter work. Two laps around arena in both directions. Picked up both leads first time. Tendency to get strung out. Cool down period.
Slightly longer ride, but still trying to keep it on the lighter side. 45min-1hr. Calm and relaxed upon entering arena. Allowed to walk out and warm up muscles on long, loopy rein and stretch out. Moved on and picked up the reins; Comanche immediately changes and you know he is ready to work. Moves off of inside leg very nicely. Engages inside hind without hesitation or unwillingness. Switch sides, doing same work. Move up into trot work for lateral steps. Nice shoulder-ins and leg yields. Great bend around circles and corners. Stretching nicely into the contact while engaging hind and back. Switch sides and repeat. Move into canter work, starting with left lead. Nice and relaxed, but not as willing to move off inside leg or engage. Switch sides and ask for left lead. Picked it up the first time, but yet again getting strung out to avoid work. Bring down to trot, ask for relaxation. Once obtained, go over lateral steps. Get suppleness back. Ask for left lead. Better, but still slightly strung out. Go across the diagonal and ask for flying change. Beautiful change, not late. Go around a lap. Go across the diagonal and ask for flying change. Blows through. Ask again. Blows through. Ask again. Finally responds, around second corner in the bend. Gets strung out yet again. Half halt, but still keeping aids on so we don't get a down transition. Takes advantage and down transitions, only to swap leads when transitioning back up. Flying change back onto correct lead. Gets strung out to avoid work, gets a good half halt to come through. Leaves it at that. Cool down period.