….by loading at the yard in less than 5 minutes and by being awesome in the school.

I was fully prepared for another hour-long battle but no…..up the ramp with just a little bit of pressure! (Repeat 20 times and 5 times with no hesitation on the ramp)

Conclusions…?

  1. Even though I’m feeling calm, when we’re going perhaps I do wind her up – I’ll double my efforts to stay calm and relax.  Maybe as we went going out today I didn’t get wound up?
  2. I applied too much pressure too soon and for too long.  Abbey responded so much better today with a very light touch.  She’s like that in her ridden work too. If I try and ‘make’ her she gets cross and her body fills with tension, the more I hold the pressure the more she takes hold.  Instead it’s a really subtle ‘give and ask’, but the ‘give’can’t give too much (otherwise the whole situation unravels!), that still needs to be a little pressure.
  3. I’ve been driving too fast. The last two times we’ve been out I’ve nearly crawled to the venue.  I’ll keep it below 35mph for now!

As loading practice didn’t take half as long as I thought it would we did a bit of flatwork.  I was really pleased with Abbey’s attitude today, she was calm and not too distracted.

As I lost a few marks on our canter transition we focused on that with a little ‘lateral’ (they are baby steps!) to getting her using her inside hind more.

Abbey’s starting to get the hang of stretching from the off and we got some really nice long and low in trot but, as usual, something caught her eye.

I try asking for flexion down the long sides, but I’m lifting my hand rather than opening it.  Think I need to take a step or two back from this and work on her understanding that when I bring my hand towards my knee I’m asking for her to bend.  I’ll start in halt!

Having watched the video back, I’ve realised how few breaks there are….definitely need to give her some more time stretching in between exercises.

I’d welcome any feedback!