The new boy, Boss has been settling in well and is getting much more comfortable jumping. I am happy with his progress so far. I love a good project horse!
In terms of his jumping work I have taken him out to jump club twice now and each time has been better than the last. Last Weekend I took him in the 85cm as his first full course of jumping. There were a few confused spots during the course so I just trained him around over some of the fences. Happy with his efforts I thought I should give him a go in the 95cm and he was even better than in the 85cm. Nothing to complain about with this guy so far!
I need to get onto some cavaletti exercises with him as he has a tendency to just run through the hand in the canter and set his head and neck - as is common in the ex-racers. I don't see it as a problem for him, he will learn in die time. He is taking the half halts better in his trot but the canter is really where I have to put in the hard yards. I have started on his lateral work, both on the ground and under saddle. Moving him off the leg and from the shoulder most importantly, where he would rather load up his weight and push through me. Colleen has been helping me when I come to her with problems in our flatwork. Her solution - amongst many others - TRANSITIONS. A myriad of transitions, walk - trot- canter - trot; up and down the arena, making the horse balance himself and desist him from running through the hand as a result of his lacking balance. The flatwork exercises I am using on him and Rion are those that I learnt from George Morris. Spiralling circles, shoulder in, quarters in, straight around the arena. Never underestimate the power of simplicity in your exercises.
As yet I haven't been using my lunging to aid his schooling for him. Alas, the amount of university work I have has kept me from doing all that I can with him until I am on holidays next weekend. I have plans with him to take him cross-country schooling in Camden after my exams and possibly his first horse trials mid July. I don't know how he will go there but we shall see after the cross-country training day we do.
This weekend I was at Camden with both of the boys, jumping in the freezing cold. Here is a video of Boss in his first competition: