I tacked her up and she was again reactive to pressure in the cross ties. Poor thing has all sorts of scrapes of her own making on her head from coming in contact with the barn rafters. She is improving on yielding to pressure in general, but seems to panic when she hits the end of a rope. Luckily, she has none of this under saddle.
At any rate, we had a good dressage school, focusing on yielding her body in leg yield along the wall and doing bow ties away from the wall to the center of the arena (which I can show you next time we lesson, great exercise). After this good warmup, we went out and jumped some xc jumps in the pasture, including a hanging log, coop and sunken road – drop in, canter one stride, jump up and out. She is getting more relaxed on her approach to xc jumps, which is translating to a softer, rounder jump. Good girl.
We loaded up at 7:45 in the morning and were in the tack at Walnut Creek schooling by 8:30. She was swinging her hip into Magee, who was saddling her for me. Just turning about looking at birds or whatever. Magee asked several times politely for her to move her hip back and Grace acted like no one had ever asked her that before. Magee started to PUSH her over, Gracie leaned back and snapped the lead rope and went on a trot about the place. We caught her easily. She lacks some fundamentals in yielding that I will work on in her time with me this week.
She was good for xc schooling and seemed to really enjoy it. She was a little nervous about some jumps and rushed them, and we repeated the exercises enough that she could get some confident and slow down. We did water and natural jumps and ditches.
She was better in the cross ties today, with only one minor moment of pulling back. We went out to the pasture and did flat work, which went well. Then on to jumping the logs, which went well. Then a bit of a raised log, a coop, a skinny and a sunken road, dropping in and jumping out. There was some hesitation about the sunken road and I even had to get off and show her that the footing was ok and then she was all in. Great day.
Ok, it isn’t really haunted, and the barn doesn’t even exist anymore, but the location is part of a nice 3.3 mile loop and we did it today. The dreaded tall grass is a part of the ride and she did well. She is becoming more relaxed out on hacks. Yay.
She was very good in the cross ties today, only had one moment of reacting up, but decided against carrying through with it.
We had a discussion about responding to pressure before I put her in the cross ties. She needs to understand that she should yield to pressure, not fight it. So we worked on yielding both laterally and longitudinally and she did well. She did rear up in the cross ties one time, but she yielded forward before she got in trouble, so that was a nice change.
On our hack, she seemed to remember what we discussed yesterday, in staying soft across her topline, and even had some moments of real relaxation. Very nice.
I brought her in and put her in the cross ties, anticipating that she would be as calm as she was after the last ride at the start of this ride, which was not an accurate assumption. She reared up and hit her head on the rafters of the barn, scraping her face and above her eye. They were entirely superficial, but very disappointing, of course. They all were under the super mask, so they were protected from flies after the ride.
We went for a hack. She is a bit unsettled being ridden out, wanting to put her neck up and tighten her back. We went about 3 miles on the grassed waterway and using all gaits; and she got better and better.
She was a little unsettled in the cross ties – pulled back a few times and would raise her head when asked to yield to the halter. So before grooming I took her into the indoor and briefly lunged her and then did some in hand work. We talked about yielding to the halter and dropping her neck when asked. She came around nicely. It is easier for her to bend left than right.
Then we groomed her, trimmed her bridle path and her mane and slightly banged her tail and tacked up. She wanted to be against the bit for the first few minutes, but came around nicely and did some nice work. Good start.
I picked up Grace at Irish Run on the way home from IRPC hunt practice. She loaded perfectly and unloaded well. I put her in a grass paddock for two hours, then put her in a stall since I don’t think she is on that much grass at home.