Happy Independence Day! On this day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the USA was born. I hope all Americans take a quick minute to re-familiarize themselves with that moment our nation's history - it is interesting to compare the values of our country then versus now, given the current political divide on Affordable Health Care, corporations' rights, and elected representatives' differential compensation. Cough Excuse me! My anthropologist side is showing!
On to horse business!
I'm falling deeper in love with Hemie. He's smart and handsome and his black tipped ears are just the cutest. And he tries his heart out every time to learn and to be a good boy. He genuinely enjoys our rides, I think.
Yesterday we declared our own independence by going on our first solo trail ride (his third trail ride ever). He was very well behaved, and absolutely fascinated by the piebald cows in the neighboring field. They were too far to get a good picture, but here's some photos of the handsome boy.
|First solo trail ride.|
|Just when you think he can't possibly get any dirtier...a bird shows that actually, yes, he can.|
Yep, bird doodoo.
Anyway, this morning I had a fabulous lesson. I had two light bulb moments: one in the jumping, one in the flatwork. On the flat, getting him to connect to the left rein has been a challenge, but we are now introducing shoulder-in and that is definately helping a lot. I'm getting the hang of it, but I'll need to continue so that Hemie can get it too.
As to jumping, we had some "slip-n-slide" bulging out to the right, both before and after the jumps. But it turns out that the magical remedy is to keep him completely straight before the jump and not let his hips swing out. It worked like a charm, and I look forward to practicing it more. We also did a pretty good course of about 4 jumps. Thanks to J.D. for the video and pics: