The Bounce – part deux

Yesterday, I set up a gymnastic based on the following diagram:

Slide1The gymnastic was adjusted to reflect the actual size of our sand ring, and I eliminated the final vertical. I also shortened the distances slightly – 18′ to the first cross rail after the bounce pole, 42′ to the three stride cross rail.

To start, I set up a low cross rail (about 18″) followed by a pole on the ground (9′ or three steps distance), followed by another 18″ cross rail 18′ (six strides) past the bounce pole. The final fence in the lines was another cross rail, about 2′ high, set up to develop into an oxer.

Dayo and I trotted into the gymnastic, cantering out. To begin, we started in one direction (left rein) and got used to the gymnastic. Dayo’s first attempt was stellar. I think she was not sure what had hit her and had to solve problems through. The second she approached with a great deal more trepidation, and required significantly more support through the leg. The third attempt, she refused to pick up a canter after the first cross rail, but corrected herself with encouragement, and finished well.

The fourth time through Dayo was confident, and I gave her a fifth time just for additional confidence. After each attempt, I asked her to hold her canter and cantered her in a circle, alternating left and right.

We then switched approach direction to the right rein. There is a new mare in the pasture, and Dayo had a hard time focusing (to the right, she can look directly into her paddock and watch the new intruder eating her hay!). It was a bit of a cluster, but we finished with a flourish and circled at the canter, working on a successful and smooth downward transition.

My goal had originally been to increase the difficulty of the gymnastic, but I decided yesterday to leave the learning at a success. Through the last two times, Dayo got increasingly fast as she got super confident. Once she got it, she loved solving the puzzle of it. To make her think, I asked her to shorten her stride toward the final element, putting in four strides rather than three. She did it like a champ.

I did notice that I had a tendency to look down over the first two elements of the gymnastic, which did not give Dayo the support she needed. She also has an ongoing tendency to drift to the left and this came into play for us between the second and the final cross rail.

Although I don’t like to repeat exercises two days in a row, we are going to incorporate a part of the gymnastic into our school today, with a one stride in and out to a three stride oxer. We may start with a refresher over the gymnastic before I adjust it. Our focus will be improved straightness (Dayo) and looking up (me). The two are likely related 🙂

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Dayo’s first week

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This past week, Dayo has been eating, eating, eating. And drinking pails of water. Tuesday, she had a “mani / pedi” and was an absolute dream for the farrier. Wednesday, she had her first dose of wormer, and was de-loused. We haven’t seen anything living on her, but we decided to err on the side of caution.

Thursday, she finally started to shed. Big clumps of hair, some of it right off the skin, leaving bald patches. Luckily, not too many, and the skin underneath looks healthy.

Saturday, she had a bath. In fact, two baths, back to back. There was dirt caked in places dirt should never be.  And her tail was just a tragedy. Sunday was a grooming day, and we took a short stroll around the farm to see the sights.

Dayo dealing with one rogue fly

Dayo dealing with one rogue fly…

She was so tired after that short walk, she flaked right out on her hay!

Dayo has been turned out in a small paddock by the barn. It’s relatively exclusive, and the ponies Simon and Anna have been turned out next to her. Yesterday, they were moved to the pipe paddock.

Checking out new friends Anna and Simon

Anna and Simon tucking in to the round bale in the pipe paddock

Anna and Simon tucking in to the round bale in the pipe paddock

We could hear Dayo calling to them, and moved her over to see her friends. Today, she is out in the small paddock next to Chaos and the mares. Eventually, she’ll be turned out with them, but for now, she’ll get to know them over the fence.

In the small front paddock...

In the small front paddock… you can look at her topline and see that just rehydrating has made a difference 🙂