Jan 15-31 2011: Soft Conection-Canter

Ida Anderson NorrisWe continue Elton’s work 4 or 5 days a week but I actually ride him only 2 or 3 of those days. Most of the participants of the Florida Dressage Experience program take the opportunity to try their hand at Long lining him and/or lunging him. About 1/2 of the participants have not Long Lined. Elton is perfect for them to use for their first sessions. He is quiet ( has not shied) and is patient with their fumbling at steering , holding the whip and the lines. I continue to be his primary rider. He is still ridden only 5 minutes. Due to his work in the side reins and Long lines he comes into a round soft connection in the walk and trot work. Some of the trainers are amazed that he is “On the bit” but I am not having to “half halt”. When I gently take up the reins, and trot on in a soft elastic connection he IS round. He is still just as likely to take the counter canter unless I am vigilant in his positioning when I ask for the depart. I have not corrected him yet for this as the primary goal is for him to CANTER when I ask. If I get the counter canter I just pat him for cantering, take my time and re-start him. We have set up some raised cavalletti poles for one of the horses getting fit and supple for Passage and we make sure we trot Elton through them daily in- hand. He is great with new obstacles.

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