Connor and I have had a lot of time for introspection while my trainer has been gone, and we've made progress.
|He's showing you that his fly bonnet (which he wore because it was windy) and saddle pad do not match.|
My trainer asked me to not let him go on the forehand at all starting from our warmup, so I have obliged and progress has been made. The left bend funkiness is also getting better, though miles from solved.
In my last lesson before she left, which I haven't written about, we got some great self-carriage out of him, and also had moments of complete failure, especially to the left. Every time I got self-carriage to the left, it was when he popped his ribcage to the inside and slightly counterbent. He also struggles to get the right shoulder around and do shoulder fore to the left, which I attribute to not being engaged enough in the left hind.
|But he looks FANTASTIC right now, so there's that. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.|
The hardest thing is that he's like riding a gumby horse. I was struck when I rode Paddy and Brego (the only other horses I've ridden lately) how novel it felt to have every foot go in the same, logical direction. They just felt so solid. Connor, millisecond by millisecond and footfall by footfall, sends his body parts in every direction - especially in these exercises lately.
I was telling my British teammate this tonight, who is also working on the same stuff with her Arabian, said, "You've got a pony, that's how riding a pony feels! Get something bigger! Although you do fit each other really well..."
|Coming up to say hello as I pull up.|
So I decided (on my own, then consulted trainer) that I am going to put him in partial training for the month of April. I am waving the white adult ammie flag! I have had her ride him from time to time, but never consistently before. He needs someone with a better reaction time than I have to teach these concepts to him. I can't give him what he needs here until he has a better understanding of it himself.
This is the definition of a plateau, and we need pushed over the edge.
As good of a trainer of people as she is, she's an even better horse trainer, so it's silly to bang my head against this wall over and over when she's so accessible and I (mostly) have the money to use her. She'll both teach him what he needs to know, and get a more intimate knowledge of how he's going right now so she can use that to teach me.
Right now the thinking is that she'll ride twice a week and I'll ride in my lesson, with either another ride or a lunge also.
Here goes nothing!