The last week has been brilliant, Buddy's feet are improving every week and our work is improving even faster. Since my last blog we've had two lessons and they've been hard work but absolutely brilliant.
Our main focus is keeping Buddy straight and improving his canter. On the flat Buddy has a bit of a yee haw canter and I've let it continue so now is the time to start knuckling down and improving it as it will pull our marks down in a test. The exercises we have been doing are pretty simple but all focused on keeping Buddy into my outside rein as he tends to twist into and out of the canter and evade my aids so to improve the canter we have to focus on the straightness first.
Both sessions we have started getting him in front of the leg and really reacting to my aids as he can be a lazy monkey! Lots and lots of transitions to keep him thinking forward and anticipating make sure that as soon as I ask he is there. Last night we started with a few serpentines which highlighted that he wasn't into my outside rein as it was a little bit messy and hard to control. We then moved on to some lateral work, using shoulder in and leg yield to get that connection. I found the shoulder in exercise particularly useful and as soon as I rode out of the movement and asked for straightness Buddy immediately lightened and gave me a wonderful feeling. Next we worked the canter on a circle, checking that we still had that outside connection. Buddy is much more established on his right rein and I noticed a massive improvement last night, on the left rein he is a bit more manic (!). We continued doing lots of transitions, correcting any drift as soon as it happened and rewarding the right behaviour. He is definitely improving so I need to continue practising outside of my lessons and I'm confident in a few weeks there will be a complete change and we should hopefully be ready for our first dressage outing at the end of April.
In our other work Buddy has made a massive improvement over the last couple of weeks in terms of his ability over smaller stones, so much so that I actually walked up the driveway both days at the weekend without him flinching... cue big smiles from me!
In other news, Rolo is not doing so well and his second blood test came back worse than last time so he's having a liver biopsy today to see if we can get to the bottom of it. Good vibes would be appreciated for him.