Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hills, Hills, and more hills

I changed it up today. I can't do another day of up and down the XC field hill. And I'm pretty sure that Fleck couldn't either. It was a pretty day today though. Not too hot, not too humid, although not as nice as yesterday. Although we got sprinkled on when we were starting.

 We hit the trails. We did 15 minutes of walking, always aiming uphill. Then we did 30 minutes of straight trotting and cantering. We trotted up all the hills, always aiming uphill, but cantered on the flat places, and trotted down the hills. Then we spent 10 minutes in the lake chilling. Then we did another 15 minutes uphills either walking or trotting. And then we headed to the stadium ring. I wanted to fix the canter transition.

 I am still not able to get the right lead. Even on the trails. So in the ring I tried again. And I paid attention to what I was doing and what Fleck was doing. He would almost get it but at the last second he was throwing his shoulders to the right and forced to pick up the left. When I didn't try as hard, and focused more on just getting the bend and then closing my leg, he would get it. Sigh... I think that by thinking of lifting my hip, I'm actually driving my left hip down. Sigh. So then we sort of gave up and I just asked for it by bending right and closing my leg and we got it a few times. 

And then... I couldn't help it. I had given him bute for the "bute test" so I wanted to jump. I hopped over a jump or two that was set up at beginner novice level. He was good. He wasn't bolting or scurrying. And then, I couldn't help it. The training level vertical was still up, so I jumped it. It sort of surprised him the first time, especially since we had to angle it because the fence 3 strides out was knocked down and the pole was in the landing area. So he "oofed" over it, but did. We came again and it was nice. So then I decided "screw it... let's do this!" so I got off and set the roll top oxer up so we could jump the line. And we did. The first time he jumped the roll top oxer he landed way left, but jumped the vertical just fine. So the second time I closed my left leg and he jumped it nice and straight and clean. And he landed happily and didn't bolt or scurry or seem anxious. Yay!!! 

Then we were done. He got a bath because he's getting skin funk again. Ick. It's not bad though. I think it's just the humidity. It's relentless. 
 Oh, but then!!! I was talking to Liz about it later and mentioned my canter problems. I told her that when I was thinking I was lifting my right hip, I knew I was dropping my left hip and throwing it to the right. So... we decided that tomorrow I'm going to try to not think of lifting my hip but instead think of lifting my right shoulder. So... we'll see if that works. :)

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