In other news, I ordered a new pair of clippers from SmartPak a couple of weeks ago. I wanted a medium sized pair of clippers for doing a trace clip on Roz and for shaving my dog once a year. I have the big Oster ones which cut GREAT but they are big and the side vent blows little pieces of hair all over. It's very annoying. I also have a pair of the Wahl Stable Pro's. They are okay but really best suited for very small jobs. I used them last year for my dog and it took me 3 hours!
Shortly after ordering my clippers SmartPak had a Memorial Day sale. Of course I wrote to them to see if they would honor their sale price on my order...and they said yes! I have always been so pleased with their customer service and really appreciate them applying the discount. Then, my clippers came a day earlier than expected so I was able to clip Annie over the weekend rather than waiting until Monday. I think she turned out very cute.
I had a great lesson on Gator tonight! It’s been really nice to be able to ride him a day or two a week in between my lessons so that I can practice the things that we are working on in our lessons. It is so nice to finally be moving beyond just working on the walk, trot, and canter….over and over again. J Of course we do work on that stuff too, but we have also been working on other things. Tonight was so much fun as things are really starting to fall into place. I am getting better at correcting problems as they come up and continuing to ride the whole time.
We started the lesson with leg yielding at the walk. Once I had him moving well of off each leg we moved up to the trot. Starting with the leg yielding already had his inside hind leg engaged and stepping so the trot work was good right from the start. We continued our leg yielding at the trot with me working to keep his neck straight instead of him being over bent to the inside and popping his shoulder out. I corrected this by using a small amount of counter bend to straighten him back out and to keep him stepping over.
We then worked on travers at the walk. It took a little time for me to figure out where I needed to be sitting. I started out holding too much on my outside rein so Gator wasn’t able to bend around my inside leg the way he needed to. Once I was able to release the outside rein and sit in the correct spot this got easier for me. We then continued on in the sitting trot to riding travers on the diagonal line with his shoulders point towards whatever corner letter we were coming to. We set it up by doing a 10 meter circle in the corner before the diagonal to establish our inside bend and haunches in. Once on the diagonal line I just had to keep what we already set up. Once we got to this point we were doing half pass! Mary explained that in thinking of half pass this way you will always have enough bend and the shoulders will always be leading, keeping you from just leg yielding along the diagonal. This really makes sense to me. The lateral work really makes me have to think about where I am sitting and how my body is positioned to get where we need to be.
We did a couple of walk to canter transitions and worked on canter lengthening and collection. Another big thing we worked on at the canter was straightness and me keeping him down and round on my outside rein. We played around with flying changes too. I am looking forward to my next ride on him Saturday.