Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lesson with Gina!

It felt very good to finally get another lesson in! I hadn't seen Gina since the beginning of January so needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to head down to her farm in Atascadero this past Sunday. Dually has finally settled into the working routine after coming off from the three day and was extremely well behaved... and put up with a lot of bad riding on my part! Gina set up a very thought- provoking exercise of four cavaletti on a 60' circle that she then asked Dually and I to canter in either 4,5,6, or 7 strides at her dictation. As adjustability is one of our biggest problems, this cut right to the heart of the problem! Eventually we were able to either get the strides but at the sacrifice of a good round canter. Gina suggested that I try a new bit, a mikmar, as the gag was getting him very uphill but very stiff in his topline. It was interesting to ride with the mikmar, and I definitely liked the nose rope feature.

We did the cavaletti a few more times with a much nicer canter and then moved on to a fun gymnastic of a vertical, powering one stride to an oxer, powering one stride to another vertical. We did it several times with the oxer getting progressively bigger and wider, topping out at around 3'6" with a rail on top to keep him from jumping into the middle. It was really fun to get to jump some bigger obstacles after so long at 2-3' and Dually was fabulous and really put a great effort in the last few times we went through. What a star!! I will hopefully see Gina again this Friday at Woodside (yay for no six hour round trips!!).

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