The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday lesson with Fran

Dibby and I stayed in our stables with some hay this morning. Dad came at ten and groomed and tacked me up. We warmed up for twenty minutes or so before Fran arrived, which was useful.
After a little stretching, we walked on both reins with flexions in and out and lots of inside leg into outside rein. Dad added some halt transitions to confirm my roundness when I was on the brink of sticking my head in the air.
He then shortened the rein and didn't let me take my head so low and we moved up to trot. Although Dad had been pleased with the improved quality of the walk, he was disappointed with the inconsistency and resistance in trot and the way my nose stuck out. When he gets dispirited about things like that he says I'm "ungenerous."

He had to take lots of flexions and use a lot of leg to improve it. Exhausting. This needs real work if we are ever going to get to that mythical Prelim test. It explains why so many teachers have just given up on us both. Fortunately, Fran is prepared to keep trying and Dad will keep plugging away.
After some prolonged work in trot we went up to canter on both reins. Dad has to work on the quality of trot and to bend me both ways to stop me running away. He needs to sit into the canter to control it, even if it means I take it as an excuse to fall out into trot. He will experiment with not carrying a crop in canter and see what difference that makes. I sometimes went into canter from walk. I thought this was just being helpful and showing a bit of initiative, but when I do that we have to return to trot and I have to do the canter transition when instructed: spoilsports.

We finished the session with walk and trot on a long rein. I stretched my neck down well and Dad was pleased.

So it was a mixed session with some good walk and variable trot and canter. Dad was disappointed with my lack of consistency in trot and will concentrate on improving this.

This was particularly clear after watching so many clinics recently where the horses were assumed to have an established outline and be round and on the bit without any battle of wills. We have a distance to go to achieve an acceptable degree of submission, but will keep trying.

We certainly have a long list of things to work on before our next lesson on 1 August.

After being hosed down, I joined Dibby in the field and made up for lost time grazing. I think Dad was left with more to think about from the lesson than me. I suppose he was right: from his perspective, sometimes cobs can be ungenerous.


Blogger Athenrye said...

now that top pic look fab, soft round and relaxed. F is great isn't she, works on the basics before worrying about anything else

9:40 PM  
Blogger Deryck Solomon said...

Thanks. It's when we go up to trot that we lose it! I agree about Fran - she is very patient with us both and we will keep trying for that mythical Prelim test. Glad your lesson went well - Kai looked calm and concentrated.

9:34 AM  

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