As we make our way through a wettest spring in a while, with no all weather arena on the horizon, progress is still being made. Even though we are limited to my tiny indoor, grass fields when it is dry enough(not often!), and hauling out to an indoor once a week or so, Cruise’s transitions under saddle and on the lunge are improving. His canter is getting much more balanced on the lunge. Under saddle he is much straighter and weighted to the outside going both directions, even at the trot! The last time I hauled out last Saturday he did serpentines, 20m circles, 15m voltes to reverse, and some figure eights all at the walk and trot. Also some HQ yields, shallow leg yields at the walk, and a few nice square halts. We did Intro A again and this time trotted ALL the trot parts with no steps of walk! It felt like a really nice test, pretty straight and rhythmic. I petted him and got off after the square halt and let him know what a good boy he was. He seemed pretty pleased with himself!
My original plan was to start showing him in hand this spring at a schooling show series about an hour and a half away. After some more thought I think he needs an in between from my small quiet farm, hauling out to another small quiet farm with an enclosed arena, and a busy show series with multiple rings and lots of action. My goal is to never make too much of an ask with him, so everything is a graduated series of steps. I think I asked way too much too soon with Jet and he had trouble trusting me at shows and in scary situations. Way too many situations way over threshold. Trying to avoid that this time around.
So…the in between I have found is a dressage trainer who is about an hour away with a smaller barn but more atmosphere than either place I have been currently riding him. The trainer is a USDF Bronze medalist and more of a Jack of all trades type that I have chatted with at various warm up rings while showing Jet. She is a nice lady, seems really down to earth, and has a background in Mary Wanless biomechanics. I think she is someone I can take more of a collaborative approach with. Not a my program or hit the highway kind of person. I’m looking to make sure I am on track with Cruise and not missing anything. I also want a polish up my biomechanics. Hopefully, if we like each other, I can haul to her every 2-3 weeks for the next few months and get some quiet travel miles on the boy as well.
Our first lesson is Saturday and I’m sure it will be interesting. I really hope she is someone I can work with. I’ll post all about it next week!