Canter Transitions are HARD

DSCN5482It’s operator error, I know.  Since I am still a little afraid of speed, perhaps I am not 100% with my cues to canter.  Still, Splash is resistant – dropping shoulder, ducking in, and curling neck.

During a short break in the show, Denise L worked with me and Splash on canter (trot) transitions.  The work was very hard for both of us but resulted in some improvement.  For canter/left lead,  squeeze legs to push into IMG_7222hand/inside leg to outside hand, ask for left flexion at the pole with left hand and half halt (almost stop) with outside hand, then ask for left lead canter while maintaining contact.  While cantering, prevent dropping inside shoulder or drop of gait to trot (until asking for trot).  Then, while pushing from behind, maintain contact during downward transition to prevent head throw.  I am missing a few directives from Denise including rotating hand rather than pulling as well as looking up and rolling shoulders back.

Then to the right, we did a walk/trot exercise in a 20 meter circle.  At the walk, ask for flex right at the pole while maintaining straight neck with left hand.  Give as soon a flex happens; repeat two more times asking for trot with the third “Give to Flex.”  Then, repeat the process while maintaining the trot.  Flex/Give three times asking for walk with the third “Give.”  Sounds simple?  I will work on both exercises during my next schooling ride.

IMG_7208On Friday before the show, we met Cindy at the Rocking C and took a ride out back in the nursery.  Cindy was on her way from Arkansas to Tulsa and always has her helmet in the car when she visits from Iowa.  She and Beau had a good time together, Prince was a Prince, Sunny was the trail boss, Kismet was Mr. Mellow, and Splash enjoyed lots of Trail Salad (he has a slacker owner to allow such behavior).  The threatened rain/cold front held off until we finished our ride.

IMG_7244Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Steve had disturbed a stray momma cat with newborn kittens on Thursday when he moved the mower.  Mom moved all but 2 kittens and we waited all day Friday for her to come for her last babies.  She didn’t come before the rain and then the temperatures started falling.  Freezing temperatures were expected so the girls brought them in after dark and we did internet research on kitten rearing, made some formula of evaporated milk/oil/egg yoke, and tried to feed the babies with a syringe.  Ivy  got up in the middle of the night and did baby duty and Alaina took the 6:00 am shift before we headed to the Rocking C for the show.  Steve went out and bought tiny bottles and kitten formula and fed while we were away.  Finally, they are not resisting feeding so much but they are not eating enough so are not out of the woods yet.  Cross your fingers and toes that we can help them through.

The rain didn’t amount to much so the show went on and Ivy and I went to Inola for first thing in the morning.  Ivy and Kismet were the first ride of the day with Pri Caprilli W/T/C and Kismet needs good warmup after being stalled overnight in dropping temps.  There was frost on the pumpkin and ice on the cars/trailers/mounting blocks.  My scribing hand was COLD but I enjoyed my time with Denise L in the judges stand.  Ivy also rode T-1 and T-3; Splash and I were signed up for T-3 and WDB-4; and Alaina and Sunny were up for WDB-4 and WDL1-4.

DSCN5529Splash and I received 68.2 for T-3 and 65.882 for WDB-4.  Denise recommends that we improve connection to outside rein and desire to move forward (Splash believes that standing is his best gait).  In T-3, we received 7.5 and 8 for our serpentines and the judge said that our bends were correct (many riders do not even attempt a bend change in the serpentine to X).  In addition, Splash had correct stretch in our stretchy circle.  Amazingly, we were high point armature Training Level by a +.

Ivy and Kizzy received 65.2 for PC, 63.333 for T-1 and 68.60 for T-3.  The judge recommends pushing Kismet out before the jumps to improve balance and to show change of bend in the serpentines.  In WBC-4 and WDL1-4, Alaina and Sunny were 73.383 and 66.333 respectively.  Denise would like to see more energy and more connection to outside rein to keep Sunny straight in leg yield.

IMG_7262After the show, we headed to the Flying M to help  out at the Zombie Bolt – the girls got purty and chased hapless victims who were attempting to complete their 5K run.  Fun, now all we need is a place to take horses for a dress up time.  Maybe at the show next weekend?  See you at the Rocking C on Sunday.

PS – I will post about the Jr. Dressage Camp soon……..


About yayariders

Equine obsessed woman who loves to ride horses, talk about horses, photograph horses/riders, shop for horse stuff, look at horse adds, admire fences, barns, trucks and trailers, and do all things horsey with my kids and friends.
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