I took today off because I came down with a cold :(
Excellent ride tonight! Almost an hour. Lots of very good lateral work and canter work. She was carrying herself very well. I've been trying to do more canter work, as I think it's something we've neglected. I think if we focus on balanced canter work where she is CARRYING herself, which has always been the issue, we'll definitely see results in our jumping work.
Well, I would have ridden tonight but Mom had a lesson over at Robin's so I didn't.
A good, short ride tonight. Rode in the outdoor. I did lots of no-stirrups work at the trot and canter - my sitting trot is getting better but still needs some work. She was very nice and balanced tonight, I even got some improvement on the canter-walks with not as many shuffling steps in between.
The cute horse in the turnout next to the outdoor arena got all excited when I was cantering and it started galloping and bucking. Pandora hardly twitched an ear and I was very pleased!
I had an excellent ride - about 50 minutes with a lot of canter work. Like I said, I've come to realize that we need to spend more time in the canter when we school flatwork and I can tell it's hard for her to really maintain her balanced self on a straightaway.
Still I got some very nice work.
Realized that part of our ongoing left bend issue, which is improving with all the lateral work progress we've made, is that I give up my outside rein too easily while going to the left. I think it started as an effort to get her to bend her head and neck to the inside, but I've realized that I'm relying way too much on the inside rein. When I insisted on a firm outside rein, she really straightened through the body but protested by trying to bend to the outside. Still, I made some progress, and I think if I apply this in my schooling it will help us chip away further at that darn left bend.
I gave her the day off today - hard ride yesterday, hard ride tomorrow, bath time tonight! Well, modified bath. I scrubbed her socks to sparkling and washed and banged her tail, but just hot-toweled the rest of her. Kind of an experiment to see if hot-toweling will work to help clean her up for the rating. It's not extremely effective, but it got a lot of the dust out, and I sprayed her down with coat conditioner then covered her with her blanket and a sleazy. Hopefully when I take everything off in the morning she will be clean and shiny!
Very hard clinic. I was sick this week and the clinic was a lot of really hard, intense riding - sometimes, especially on XC, I felt like Pandora needed me to give her a solid ride because she was tired, but I was so exhausted I couldn't ride right. She was so tired she was jumping in very poor form, hanging her knees pretty badly, which she NEVER does. But, I got some useful things out of it - I need to make her carry her head more and insist on a balanced canter, and there's no need to fight about coming back after a fence - just give her time.