Open Handed.

So, that exercise that the Eventer set up?  Whoa.

I had to pull things out of the deep recesses of my brain to figure it out.  Like, um.  Opening my hand.

OR and I took it in pieces.  We pulled one line and set it straight on, so we wouldn't be beginning with bending lines.  After that, we started adding in the bending pieces, one by one.  I was satisfied after doing one successful bend and quit there.  I can't expect more of him than I'm able to do with my own brain.

I pulled his blanket off the rail and draped it over him.  Good pony!

That was Thursday.  Friday's ride was spent working on halting and getting him in front of my leg.  It made it quick because it was (surprise!) cold.  In Georgia.

I went back to the fences on Saturday.  Pony was good.  We successfully did a line of those hard three bends.  I guess my brain is still working on getting up and over the fence so that doing things with my hands while jumping feels incredibly hard.  It's easier every time, but damn.  Re-wire already, brain.  I followed that up with a short trail ride to the river.  He had a nice marchy walk.

And Sunday... more fences.  When I went to get Archie out of the pasture, I think he was lamenting the loss of his favorite pasture buddy.  OR officially left the barn.  Sad face.  But the Kid was standing under a tree near the mare that was married to OR's other's horse.  I sent her a photo of them and told her that they were consoling each other.

Sad pony is sad.
When it came time to jump, I moved my straight line closer, so it was more like three-ish strides.  Except I really, really need to work on my walking strides because I think he chipped it almost every time.  Though.. I did have Archie walking behind me when I paced it and those giant Thoroughbred pancake feet marked out the line I made in the sand.  Intentional...?

We also worked on opening circles.  I thought he would balk at exiting the ring and then entering again, but the Kid was just amazing.  His reward was to be forced on another trail ride down the scary dirt road to the left of the barn.  I had my crop with me and good thing, he need a little reminder that we don't stop on trail rides.  I thought about cantering him out again, but I don't want him to get conditioned to thinking that a certain area means a certain thing.  I try to vary the places in the ring where I ask for transitions.  What can I say?  My horse is smart.
A little further each time.

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  1. If it helps I practice walking distances using chalk on the cement at home :)

  2. I suck at walking distances. Like... horrible.

  3. Walking distances is nasty, heck laying out trotting poles is challenging too! Or that might just be me :-p