Teresa- April has been a month of training
Well the first two shows I planned on going to were rained off so with no thanks to mother nature we have been concentrating on improving our technique through training at home.
Corky had a visit from Emma Dainty a registered veterinary physiotherapist. I wanted Corky checked over to rule out any possible physical problems as a possible reason to our problems as I didn’t think it was fair to push him if there was something ‘ not right’
Emma gave him the all clear with nothing showing other than what would be considered normal for a 16 year old horse in work. ( some stiffening in joints) she did identify that Corky was weak in his core area (makes two of us) so we have exercises to help with this including tummy lifts, riding spirals in and out in trot , some uphill canter work and continued carrot stretches. I have to say he felt pretty amazing two days later very supple and free moving he obviously enjoyed Emma’s visit.
Corky found the spiraling easy enough clockwise but a little harder anti- clockwise so that’s something well be working on.
Riding raised trot poles was ‘ Somewhat Interesting’ Corky rushed and cantered albeit very collected but eventually it ‘clicked’ and then we were trotting through with a lovely active hind leg. great result. I plan to continue this exercise.
Emma advised I was to push the canter more foreword to a fence and agreed he would find it tough when we were too close so yes you guessed it we are working on that one too. ( by me sitting up on approach) we can add another half stride before the fence.
We had another lesson with Abbi Griffin it was all more forward but controlled with me sitting much more upright and not in a forward seat resulting in a better approach and jumping off a better stride and then getting a controlled landing all so much better. I still need to improve my upper leg grip and I’ve just got to stop dropping the contact at the last minute before a fence ( my nerves) put simply if I’m not convinced we can do it Corky isn’t either. This makes me feel I owe it to him to get it right as he’s more than capable to do what i’m asking of him. We finished the lesson by jumping planks (we are knocking down planks regularly) I was way out of my comfort zone as they appeared huge but by concentrating more on the correct approach we were getting them right everytime bar the one time I panicked and dropped contact resulting in Corky scrambling over the fence leaving me hanging around his neck shouting “jockey error” we cantered 3 or 4 strides before I shimmied back into the saddle. We are still entertaining !!!!
I hired the jumping arena at watt meadow to see if we could put it all together in prep for a competition. After a less than confident start we were jumping really well putting together a course including a 2’9 wall !! not all the fences were straight forward so it was a great practice for the future.
We hacked home with an air of confidence and I felt proud of both of us for what we had achieved I can’t wait to get out there and see if we can do it in show conditions.
Planning is underway for my Honeychop prize giveaway at the East Shropshire Riding Club show at the end of April its all very exciting to be out there promoting Honeychop.