I have a weekly plan for me and Rebel. After his ‘arthritis winter holiday’ which included 3 to 4 days off a week, we are now back at two days off a week – mainly Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days are for flatwork x 2, hack, lunging and grid work.
After I came back from my hols I realized Rebels got a beautiful canter, if _he_ can decide the tempo. He was not very willing to half halt or slow down, which is kind of important. I decided to change the bit to a Wilkie so I could use a lighter hand and practice half halt in canter. The first proper day I rode for over an hour, starting with trot, walk, halt over and over again.
I put poles out in every corner, squishing him into it and cantered around the whole school. No 20 meter circles at all. It became very obvious he had to slow down to make the corner and I praised him every time he did so. Then I tried for several times asking for a half halt, where he mainly went into an rushed trot. Okey, note to self; more leg before hand.
And I tried over and over again. Sometimes I took 10 strides before I slowed down, which was rewarded with a pat, loose reins and loads of good words. Then he would speed up again and I would repeat myself. I finished that session with 2 very quick half halts on each rein and was so pleased with how he went. It took a while but he sort of figured out what I wanted.
The next time repeated myself with all the transitions and half halt in canter. It came back to him quickly and when the canter was so slow and balanced.
I used my voiced asking for trot. And he rushed. Over and over again.
Back to walk, trot and canter…
I wonder how many times he rushed – must have been over 30. But just when you think it’s all going to hell you have one beautiful transition to make up for it.
I will continue my “transitions journey” on Saturday. My goal is to do them with his head super low, really relaxed, and only by using my voice 😅