The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday morning with Fran

Saturday morning was grey and drizzly and quite gusty. I was tacked up and in the school to warm up by 9.45.
We began the lesson in walk with softening on both reins- flexions and inside leg into outside rein. A gust of wind caught a plastic chair at the side of the arena and blew Other Dad's coat off the fence, but I didn't shy. We added some shoulder in and fore and leg yield and went up into trot concentrating on roundness and softness in the jaw.
We worked a lot on flexing to both sides in walk and in trot and on maintaining roundness when it came. Various of my evasions emerged and Dad worked on each as they arose, but generally I was quite relaxed and concentrated.
We worked on some different exercises including going up into trot getting soft and round, then nearly returning to walk but kicking on into trot just before I returned to walk. That was quite hard and we will practice that.
Dad was starting to ride more tidily with heels down and straight back and basics like thumbs on top and remembering to breathe.

Generally Dad was trying to sustain a lighter touch. It was hard to assert himself and stop me putting my nose in the air without seeming to be too rough to my mouth. Generally he didn't need to lift his outside hand too high to get me to go back on the bit, but it would be necessary to persevere. Dad was pleased that my head went into a correct position earlier and stayed there longer than before. He just had to remember to maintain a gentle dialogue with my mouth with a lighter contact when I wasn't resisting or yanking him about.
We added a variation to exercise where we nearly walk but trot on basically doing the same thing but establishing the trot sitting nearly going down to walk and then moving on in rising trot. The alternation between sitting and rising adds to control just like altering pace.
After some work in trot and stretching on along rein we went back up into trot and when we were round, tried canter on both reins. This went reasonably well, though as usual we had trouble in sustaining the canter as long as he wanted.
Generally Dad was quite pleased with the canter, since he didn't feel that I was going to run away at any stage. He needs to work on sitting into the saddle with legs/heels down, back straight, hands down and keeping me bent into the inside. Also it was less distracting for us both not to carry the crop during canter.

We finished off by walking and trotting around on a long rein stretching as low as possible.

I came in for a hose-down and an apple. My busy morning continued when our new neighbour Max was put into the new paddock sectioned off in our field. We all cantered around a little to show off in medium trot but settled down after a few minutes to graze. Senior cobs understand when they have had enough excitement for one day.


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