March - saw another go at the assignment - not quite what I'd planned, but we are still moving forward (in more ways than one at times...and the odd sneaky steps by Bailey ) and eventually a Blue Tick for our 1st L2 assignment - yey
April - we began working on our 'Spirals' assignment, had a clinic with Mel...L2 Ground and beginning/revisiting BB riding
May - June - still working on that Spirals!!! arrgghhh Mel's words of wisdom - that feel is a very elusive thing, you think you pick it up but if your horse steps towards you(escaping the feel) then your feel is gone again. Need to be balancing keeping him out of your space with your feel. The Contact assignment is a good one to learn this.
July - Started with a L2 ridden Impulsion w/e with Mel - OMG we had to ride for the 2 days - wish I had 'prepared earlier'! but we did it and survived! and banished a couple of mountains along the way that I had been building in my mind:
saddling and riding ( I may have been putting these tasks to the furtherest back burner ... )
cantering, and controlling Bailey's direction, at the same time!
stopping spot in the open
transitions down while remaining balanced
talking about and riding the gallop pattern
going on a trail ride
We also played with the Pinch Test, attempted to maintain a circle at all 3 gaits (a work in progress!), point to point using the FQ and rebounds patterns around the southern cross.
nb transitions down - use flex, seat point, rhythm and try not to brace!!
Home again to fly out to Perth the next day and visit with our daughter.
Our LR play day at the end of the month was ground work again and filming of an assignment (spirals of course!) with a very reactive and elevated horse!
We had been practicing some of the elements but not put it all together until filming - SR & LR falling leaf and change of directions.
August - a visit from Sharron and the girls - plus the odd play down at Elcho.
The month has finished off with a lesson (ridden and working on the canter - getting it smother during the up & down transitions, posting and establishing our circle) plus a Live Assignment coaching with Mel - I seem to remember her mentioning something about 'shortening my rope' I think!! glad I have it on video to watch over again!
Last w/e was our horses' birthday party - which was heaps of fun before the weather put a bit of a dampener on our games!
These last 3 days of the month I have ridden Bailey down at Elcho Park - out in the open using our southern cross pattern to walk, trot and canter each day! - yey me!!
Initially a little suggestion of his hip up, but soon forgot to bother and played really well!
Steering needs work as he ups his gait, and while doing the 'straight bits' of the pattern, but nothing that was uncontrollable - so feeling a bit pleased!
Then today we played in one of the arenas, and finished with some ride the rail and leap frog with Shell & Blue, stopping at our 'comfort spot' when he was going both up and down gaits (walk - trot - walk) along the rail calmly - very happy with him
Filmed the L2 A2 again!! - fingers crossed this time