The next Horse and Hound e-training session was about the free walk on a long rein.  First attempt on Tuesday evening was better than Wednesday’s but the video camera failed again!

Unfortunately, having been put through her paces the day before we were lacking our normal ‘forward’ but I’m still relatively pleased with the result.

I think all the trot work lacks impulsion.  While Abbey’s tracking up, she’s not really coming through from behind and there’s no uuuumph!

She’s still anticipating a halt at X…..so we have a little wobble, just like we did on Saturday when we did Prelim 17 at Swallowfields.  I’ve obviously been practicing too much so we’ll be doing lots of centre lines without halts for the next month and I’ll use the outside of the school and the centre horizontally for practice for a little while.

I’ve no idea why I asked her to fidget on the HIS at the end.  Between that and completely missing the line centre line,I’d forgive a judge from writing “stoopid rider!!” for that movement.

In my defense ‘A’ and ‘C’ don’t line up in our school because the fence posts aren’t quite symmetrical.  ‘K’, ‘H’, ‘M’ and ‘F’ are also too close to the corners and the school is 50m wide not 40m.  Still, I’m lucky to have a horse, let alone ride it on weekday evenings in January….counting my blessings and all that!

Back to the test….still need to work on the accuracy of my circles (needed to go to the track on the right rein and then to X)…thought I’d nailed these, not sure why we’ve forgotten them….more practice required!

The downwards transition to walk was ok….could have been smoother but they are getting more balanced.  I think that will come if a keep my leg on through the whole of the transition rather than just when I initially ask for walk.

The two 1/2 10m circles went well.  A little moment of resistance – think she asking whether it was the free walk…again, need to equally practice transitions with plenty of medium walk as well as FWLRs. Abbey showed good bend (was it too much?!) with a couple of steps of straight in the middle.

Abbey did take the contact forward a little on the FWLR….though I know she can do better.  She also resisted a little when I picked the reins back up.

I was pleased with the two upwards transitions but we did gain a little momentum on the long side.

Then there was a minor ‘whoopsie’!  The horse she spooked at has been in the field all winter, and she’d been passed him lots and lots of times during our warm-up.  Clearly Abbey was concentrating so hard……ahem!

The trot transition was anticipated – we had been through the test the day before.  It also wasn’t very balanced.  These downwards transitions are relatively good on a circle so I’m thinking the next step is to get them on the long sides with the fence for support before expecting too much on the diagonals.  The second one was a bit better.

And then it’s the final movement….which we’ve already covered!

Hopefully you agree with my observations, if not please comment – all constructive criticism is welcome, especially those with ideas on how to the improve!