I've been skimping on Champ's part of the blog lately and just realized I've missed blogging about his newest big milestone! We have progressed from being roundpenned with me flopping on his back to him actually going forward off leg aids and learning how to turn and stop! All by himself while Hayley watches from outside the round pen. He has grown another inch in the last month and is now bigger than Pop, and with all of the roundpen work he has developed a truly fancy trot with a lot of step. His canter is also immensely more balanced and straight, and he seems more confident with moving out under saddle. I'm so proud of him and love watching him turn into a real horse!
And Pop and I had a super intense flat lesson today that left my legs and arms literally shaking. Nothing like a dressage lesson to make you feel the burn and realize how truly out of shape you really are, and how weak your core is! We worked a lot in the canter today and ended up finding that 15 meter circles with walk/canter/walk transitions are very beneficial for bringing him more up and underneath himself. It's important for me to remember that bringing him up (more or less with a half-halt..the walk/canter is just an extreme halt-halt) does not mean he's allowed to lose the roundness...and his shape should not get too short (especially with his neck)...so I essentially have to keep bringing him up but keeping my elbows soft and asking for the inside bend to keep the roundness and softness, and then put my leg on and make sure my reins don't get too short so his neck doesn't get too short. It was tough but really beneficial and I feel like every ride on this horse improves me SO much. Every ride on him is so much fun and I love every single second. It's also reinforced for me how important it is for me and my horse to be in a program. On my own I would've continued trotting around with him bracing but looking pretty, just happy as a clam, but Charlie caught onto it right away and little by little is chipping away at our comfort zones and truly making us work! He sees things that I don't even have a feel for yet. I'm so grateful for his time and expertise...I'm learning so much!
Here's a super silly video for you...please ignore the fact that frames just skip for no reason. I refuse to use that camera ever again. :D
love and God Bless!