Cobmalian

The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

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Location: United Kingdom

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October lesson with Fran

Our busy week continued on Thursday when Dad schooled me in the evening. The school hadn't beeen levelled yet so we stuck to walk and trot as before with lots of softening, flexing and transitions and trying to sustain a regular trot on the bit.
On Friday it was my turn to be clipped. My coat was quite woolly - although not as thick as Dibby's - and I was very relieved to be free of it.
On Saturday morning we had a lesson with Fran.
We warmed up gently in walk on a circle with stretching and flexing both ways. We added leg yield on the circle and down the long side with occasional halt transitions.
We moved up into trot and worked on leg yield, which was much harder. Dad had to focus on retaining a firm contact on the outside rein and relinquishing it from the inside when I had given and was soft. He found this hard and will need to practice it.
Apart from not setting his inside hand, Dad needs to remember to ride every step, since once I have given and softened, I tend to pull him forward and stick my nose out. At this point I'm not ready to sustain the softness without some reminders.
It's difficult sometimes because in the past he remembers being told that once a horse is in a particular gait it should stay there performing it until instructed other wise - like putting a car into a particular gear. That doesn't really work with me since I usually have a point of view on most things. Also, my neck aches if we do that too long and I need a stretch.
So the basic message is that Dad can't really afford to switch off or I will take the rein back and stick my nose out. He needs to maintain a gentle dialogue with my mouth all the time or risk losing the correct contact and softness.
We finished with stretching on a long rein in walk and trot, which was very welcome. Dad was pleased with the lesson. Fran said my two weeks off hadn't done any harm and that I was more consistently round. We have plenty to practice before our next lesson at the end of the month.
We came in for an apple and sponge-down and I joined Dibby in the field for the rest of the day.

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