Raven got to work on some tighter turns over the freshly painted fences, and she does love it. If you watch closely in the video she is having some trouble with changing leads in her hind end so she does some little hops trying to correct that lead at the canter. This is likely because she needs some more strength in her quadriceps muscle on her left hind. She has upward fixation of the patella, which is relatively minor and tends to go away as she gets fitter and stronger. However, during the process of gaining that fitness and strength she has her little hops which let me know with what she's struggling.
Her form over fences is still good, though!
Jimmy got to come out and work next while I was teaching a lesson. He is still in the long-and-low stretchy trot phase of his stamina building, and he does pretty well for a few laps and then when he gets tired he starts taking odd steps every once in a while. We take it slow and do what he's able to, and make sure we have walk breaks for him to rest. He still is an absolute gentleman, and he truly want to do the right thing and tries his very best.
Today I introduced some pole work, just walking and then trotting over a series of three poles on the ground. He's so thoughtful and careful, and really did well once he figured out where to put his feet.
Ferriana watched the other horses working from her paddock, insisting that she should be next to go ride. When I took her out she was really pleased, and not too interested in the flat work to warm up. When I realized that she mentally needed more than canter circles to get focused I started working her over the crossrails. As soon as she had obstacles to think about she was all business.
Next we raised them a little and I asked her for some tighter turns
Lastly we gave her some oxers to jump, which she sailed over appearing to wish them higher. I have to really pay attention to my own riding with her for several reasons. She really hates to be over-ridden, meaning that she gets pretty mad if I cue her too strongly to do something. She responds to very slight weight shifts and changes in my breathing, the equivalent of whispering to her. She does NOT want to be shouted at. So I need to ride her in a particularly finessed way.
Secondly, Ferriana has a powerhouse leap to her that can just about jump me out of the saddle. She was bred specifically for this purpose, and has the natural scope and explosive ability to get over absolutely anything in great style. The result is I need to be particularly attentive to my own riding when we're going over fences because it wouldn't take much for her to jump right out from under me!
Big thanks to Sara for taking all the video today. It helps immensely to be able to watch my horses and also critique my own riding so that I can better help these athletes perform to their best abilities.