Today Banner and I rode the "Townsend Loop." It has two long steady climbs and the footing is good for trotting or cantering. The words "bliss" and "harmony" come to mind to describe today's ride. Our time was 30 minutes slower than it usually is. I spent some of it on foot to improve my fitness and coming down the mountain, I was kicking rocks to improve my footwork. Banner expects me to dismount for part of our rides and he plods along behind like the 12 year old WB he is.
I have not been in a Horse Trial since Rebecca T3Day in July. I have been to a local jumper show and we won a 3'9" class! I got to take some jumping lessons with Bob McDonald this fall and it sorted us out well.
We have been doing lots of dressage on the old polo field at Bellevue Farms. It is the best turf footing on the planet. The lot is for sale and bank owned. I'd buy it for the footing if I could.
A few months ago, Banner performed a runaway/ bolt with a plain snaffle, no martingale. He was 3 Day fit at the time but still I do not want him to bolt and ignore the bit. When he bolted, a problem became evident.
My solution was to put the standing martingale back on and do excercises that make it clear what the bit means. I ride him lightly, I insist on it. I use light leg pressure and light hands. We are making progress, he is more submissive and rounder now. It takes time and quiet repetition. Today he was light and obediant out there in a plain snaffle. I love just the journey of listening and learning about training horses whether preparing for competition or not. I must say also that the movie "Buck" influenced me. I have re read both of his books and implemented his philosophy. I especially like keeping the reins between my thumb and forefinger which is the way Jack LeGoff instructed. It loosens my elbows. Buck and Edward Gal say alot of the same things too. My students have been hearing alot about this stuff lately and it seems to help with "harmonious development of horse and rider."
My opinion is that the the natural trainers press to get the saddle on and go as if they were on a ranch. I prefer giving the horses more time before being ridden to be strengthened and confident to ensure that they stay together later on.
Happy November! Dec 21st (winter solstice) is just around the corner. I look forward to spring and going to California to event. I plan to make it so.
Will Banner be more rideable? Will I be able to ride decently at Prelim. Level? Will I make it to Cal.? We shall see.