Monday‘s jumping lesson had a full course set up, but Ezhno and I just worked over the outside line and left the rest of the jumps up at 2’0″ for the Show Buddy to practice over. We started out with just a cross rail and then moved on to a cross rail and a tiny baby vertical (Ezhno’s first!). We trotted in at first and then started cantering in, but he ended up getting a little too excited, so we changed the subject for a while before we wrapped things up with a couple more jumps.
Tuesday was a continuation of my streak of discouraging rides. His walk/trot was okay, but kind of unfocused and sloppy. Then his trot to canter transitions were downright horrible. He kept throwing his head through the transitions in a way that ended up kind of scaring me, especially since he would rush off with me right afterwards. We felt very out of sync and unbalanced. 🙁
Wednesday the Trainer was going to set up a cross rail for us, but we ended up spending the whole time addressing his crappy transitions and the feeling that he was running away with me at the canter. I was so nervous that the Trainer hopped on him first and took him through a few transitions before she coached me through it. The problem is that he keeps sucking back behind my leg through the transition and then realizing he doesn’t have enough power in his hind end, so he throws his head to compensate. The solution? More leg! (It’s always more leg, lol.) Then we tackled his speed problem. It’s counter intuitive, but when he starts rushing off with me I need to ride less from my hands and more from my seat/leg. By the end of our less his transitions were slightly improved and his actual canter was a million times more rideable.
Thursday was a better ride—not great, but vastly improved. I went into it with a solid goal: five trot to canter transitions in each direction (so 10 total) with the correct lead. He got a little forward and anticipatory as the ride went on, but we got all 10 transitions and his canter was solid the whole time. It was a much needed success after a week or so of disappointment.
Sunday I went to the barn to help with another Girl Scouts event. Ez assisted with the grooming and saddling portion again, but otherwise he spent most of the day chilling in his stall (and I got to sleep in, yay!), so we had a laid back end to an otherwise hectic week.