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Wizard Ride 181: Perfect Circle

September 23, 2010

Tuesday, 9/21/10

Autumn officially arrived late this evening as I was leaving the barn. It was a perfect night to usher in the new season- the moon was bright, the air was cool and clear. I rode Wizard outdoors. The arena footing was great, with a good bit of moisture but not muddy at all.

Our warmup was simple, consisting of a long time walking on a loose rein, followed by walking on contact and then trot work. He is stretching nicely into the bit during the trotting warmup. Wizard’s shoulder-in to the right is still much stronger than the shoulder-in tracking left. Wizard’s trot to canter transitions are becoming stronger as he becomes more balanced. He picked up the left lead after two tries and we nailed the right lead on the first attempt. Forwardness has been the big focus on our last few canter sessions so I decided to test Wizard and rein him in a little- he was able to balance and rate himself and did not break into the trot a single time.

Taking another chapter from 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider, I set up three trot poles about 35 feet apart from each other, in a straight line. We rode over each pole, then circled and at the next pole, we circled in the other direction. It was good practice for staying balanced on both sides and for riding a proper circle instead of an egg or a lemon. I definitely rode a few oblong circles before we got something resembling even patterns on both sides. I also noticed that I made more circle after the pole and then would approach the trot pole from an angle- to correct this, I used the circle as a midline and worked hard to keep my leg and hands even throughout the circle. We capped off the exercise by doing figure 8s at each pole. Our little setup was a great exercise in bending. An unexpected result of the exercise was Wizard’s relaxation- he was round, reaching for the bit, and sooo relaxed.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 11:13 am

    I’m using the same book (101 Jumping Exercises)! Well, I’m using that one simultaneously with Anne Kursinski’s “Jumping Clinic”, Holly Hugo-Vidal’s “Build Confidence Over Fences” Paul Cronin’s “Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse” and Leslie Webb’s “Build a Better Athlete”. I’ve got a little something going from each book in each of my rides. Definitely gives me variety!

  2. September 23, 2010 12:03 pm

    Yep. It’s that time of the year again.
    Meridian Steeplechase Festival on Saturday.

    You know the night is fallin’
    And the music’s callin’
    And we’ve got to get down to Swingtown 😉

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