Working Again

Over lockdown we didn’t really do much schooling. Obviously we did the odd bit of flat work when warming up for jumping but proper, serious schooling got put on hold – mainly because we had nothing to work towards. We are still not going out to shows but I am hoping to do some online dressage soon so schooling has suddenly become important again!

Galahad was not impressed in our first session. Flat work is never his favourite thing anyway and he has got used to not having to do it. He was rather sluggish to start with and I could really tell how much schooling does improve his way of going – I couldn’t get him to bend to the right at all. He is improving now but it just shows how important schooling really is.

As well as the flat schooling I have introduced some gridwork into our routine. Partly because it is good for Galahad’s rather weak hindquarters and partly because he loves to jump so it makes the session more interesting for him too. I wanted to try some bounce distances which we have only ever done in lessons before. Those tend to be with other people whose horses inevitably have longer legs than Galahad so normally he can squeeze in an extra stride and avoid the bounce altogether. The advantage of being at home is that this time I could shorten the distances until they were right for him.

The first time we tried it he had no clue what to do with his feet and we were very scrappy on our way through. It didn’t take him long to figure it out though and soon he was bouncing through like a pro.

I think Galahad enjoyed it and I know I did so we’ll be keeping the grid up as long as the state of the ground lets us.

Trying New Things

On Thursday Galahad and I had a fantastic lesson.

20180722_083643

The eagle eyed among you may spot that these photographs were not taken during the actual lesson.  I didn’t have a tame photographer there so we had to recreate the scene afterwards!

We started off with flatwork and spent some time doing work without stirrups.  Galahad hasn’t really done much of that before and he definitely hasn’t done the exercises that go with it.  They can be a bit scary for a nervous pony like him so I wasn’t quite sure how he would react but he was as good as gold.  It may be time for me to stop assuming that everything will scare him because most of the time that isn’t true anymore.  In fact, when I think he will react badly I know I make it more likely – I tense up and that definitely affects him badly.

20180722_083606

We then moved on to some jumping.  Specifically – gridwork.  Galahad hasn’t even done a single bounce fence before, let alone a line of fences.  More than that, we started off without reins which was another new thing for him (and something I haven’t done for years).

20180721_194215_Moment

Galahad just pinged through them like a pro.  He never fails to amaze me and once again I was so proud of him.  I feel like I say that a lot but it is true!