Last week we had another great English lesson. Our lesson partners Lisa and Lexie were back in action. It has been raining all day, so we were in the indoor, which leaves limited space for jumping. It did, however, give us the opportunity to do a lot of good flat work exercises.
We started with shoulder-in at the walk in both directions, then we added some trot and canter to that. We would trot half the ring until we got to the long side by the door and then come back to the walk and shoulder in down that side and repeat. Then we did the same thing, but added canter instead of trot. This exercise was great for transition work as well, which the princess pony is quite sharp at. Afterwards Renee set two rails on the ground parallel to each other. One was a few feet from the indoor wall and the other was at the center of the ring. She had me stand parallel to one and Lisa across from me standing parallel to the other. She had us go around in a circle, never taking our eyes off of the other, and we had to stay across from each other the whole time. Each time we passed the rails, Renee would call out a command, such as sitting or posting trot, canter, reverse, halt, etc. It was fun and quite helpful.
Next, Renee set up two small verticals next to each other (well not right next to each other, they were a few feet apart). She had us do a serpentine exercise where we picked up our left lead down the long side and around the first jump, then turning and coming over it. We would land on the right lead and go over the next jump, land on the left lead, canter up a few steps and halt, completing a serpentine pattern. A serpentine over two jumps doesn't sound that complicated, but put it in a small space and it requires a lot of collection, focus, and smoothness. The first time through she stopped at both jumps as she sometimes does the first time she approaches, but then she went over them and completed the pattern nicely. Every few times through Renee raised the jumps. We probably went up to about 2'6". We worked on focus and smoothing out the turns to use up the space we had and make nice straight approaches. In the beginning Satin wanted to cut the turns short, which had her jumping the jumps on a diagonal. By the end though, she was jumping perfectly and doing the pattern quite smoothly.