Cross country does the dressage pony some good

Magic enjoyed his day out on Saturday. Well mostly. He enjoyed standing at the lorry eating with his new best friend and he enjoyed the slices of bread I was feeding him. He even enjoyed the warm up fences and got on with his job perfectly. What he didn't enjoy was his new best friend leaving him or having to leave his new best friend. He was fine while he was moving and had work to do but as soon as he had time to think about being alone he got very very stressed. There was a long wait after warming up and even though there were plenty of other horses stood around quietly my little pony just couldn't think straight. His mind seemed totally blown. All he could do was walk backwards. In the end I got off and let him eat. He seemed to calm down after about 10 minutes but before that it was like he couldn't think straight. I think I need to get him out more. Once a year isn't enough. On the plus side he really enjoyed his round. He went clear and didn't look at anything. We did however manage to smash the optimum time of 2:05 and do it in 1:17... Oops.

I gave him Sunday off so he could chill in the field. On Monday I lunged with draw reins over his back to his bit. Usually he isn't overly keen on this but thought I'd give it another go. He went beautifully. Really lifting his back and stretching down and round. Very pleased with the boy.

Yesterday I schooled. Used the spurs again. He seemed really really sensitive to them and even gave a little kick when I used them as if to say "oi! I'm responsive enough thank you very much". After that I only have to use slight pressure from my calf, even when doing leg yield on both reins. We also had the best canter we've had yet. It wasn't totally round but it was steady and collected. Hopefully he'll continue to improve and I can work on getting him to round in canter too. Even the downwards transitions to trot were smooth and he didn't attempt to hollow. Even more pleased with the boy.

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