Where Kaye and I learn to do flying changes

Monday, July 13, 2009

It was quiet at the barn on Saturday. Astrid had been at camp all week and didn't come home till Saturday. So the von Rintalin clan wasn't out. It was just Katie and I, then Ari and Elena came a little later. Katie gave Elena a lesson while I cleaned some stalls. And then Ari was going to ride Twinkie on the lunge after Katie. But she got a little intimidated by how quickly Twinkie trots. So we ended up tacking up Kaye for her to ride on the lunge. Ari's actually doing very well. She has a great seat, and all the right instincts. Kaye did a little spook with her, and Ari just sat up tall and kept her legs long and rode through it beautifully.

Once Ari finished her lunge lesson, Katie and I had a dressage lesson. After we warmed up Bonnie wanted us to try doing canter departs on the centerline. Very difficult to do on a straight line. I was having problems getting the left lead for some reason. We were at least getting three canter departs on the centerline, even if it was only the right lead. Which is better than Katie managed. She could get one. So then Bonnie had the idea to try flying changes. So she dragged a ground pole out and set it down along the rail one the far side of the arena. Now Kaye has never been taught to do a flying change, mainly because of her stringhalt. And I have never done a flying change before, so this could be interesting. The idea was to go along the rail towards the back of the arena, pick up the left canter lead and ride a teardrop back to the ground pole, and then change leads over the ground pole. Well we tried it a few times and didn't get anything. But then I realized that I was just expecting Kaye to do it on her own. So we tried it again and I actually asked Kaye to change her lead...and she did it!! I was so pleased with her. We did a few more times going from the left to right lead. Katie could quite get it. She actually was bring Tru down to a trot before she even got to the pole. Then Bonnie took the pole over to the other side of the arena and we tried going from the right to left lead. I knew Kaye would struggle with that. The left hind leg is the one she has problems with. We tried a few times and we managed to switch in front but she could get her hind legs untangled to switch behind. We ended up calling it a day then, Kaye wasn't getting it and I knew it was hard for her. Bonnie even said she would have been very surprised if she would have changed that direction.

After I took care of Kaye and hosed her off, there was a surprise waiting for us. Puppies! Lee had brought Saber's litter out to the barn, as she had someone coming to buy one. After they picked their puppy and left she brought the others out for us to play with.

They were all too cute! Chloe kept trying to get them to play with her, but they couldn't quite get it yet. We all had fun with the puppies though.

Sunday, Bonnie and I worked in the fence first thing. We restrung it and wired the whole way around. So now we can hook it up to the charger again and give Airy a nice little shock when she tries to run through it next time. Then the two Tammy's showed up to ride, so I tacked Kaye up and joined them.

Kaye and I worked on flying changes again. Since the pole was already over there we just started with the right to left lead. We were still having trouble get the change. I could get her to change in front but not behind. Tried several times and then we took a break while Tammy was working Sugar. When Tammy finished I decided to try it again. First time she switched in front but not behind. But then we tried again and she did it! Switch in front and behind! I was so proud of my baby girl. The Tammys were laughing at me as I dropped my reins and we cantered around the ring while I was hugging her neck. Kaye was pretty pleased with herself, she knew she had done well. We picked it up a few more times and then we tried the left to right lead change without the pole. We got the change on the first try. I loff my pony! As it turns out, Kaye doesn't think dressage is so horrible when you get to do fun stuff like that.