I just came back from Europe and haven't been with the horses for 3 weeks. The other day I rode Sugar and did groundwork with her on the obstacle course. Overall Sugar wasn't as bad as I thought she would be not working with her for those 3 weeks. She gained some weight and started to get a nice tan that shows her dapples.
Amber had been starting to practice jumping with her horse Athena. So that first day being back I also tried jumping with Sugar. I wanted to do more groundwork with her first but since Amber wasn't going to be there for long so I jumped with her. It was a lot of fun and Sugar had the energy!
I want to teach Sugar starting from the ground to not only jump but pick her feet up more. She's more on the clumsy side and not paying enough attention to where's she going a lot of the time that I thought obstacle work would be great for her.
Circle logs are perfect for this. This obstacle is basically logs fanned out in a circle. I can do this obstacle with Sugar on the ground or in the saddle. It's similar to poles but the logs are bigger and usually fewer causing the horse to take bigger and higher steps. Sugar lacks in picking her feet up and often knocks things or hits jumps when she goes over. She's on the lazy side when it comes to that. So when I have her do jumps for instance I have her doing it until she can clear them with ease as well as be able to find the rhythm and timing of the jump instead of getting distracted or "falling asleep". Circle logs keeps her mind in constant focus on where to put her feet next. I have her trot over the logs and just as she's over one there's already another one to go over. This really helps keep her on the thinking side of her brain. Usually at first she'll go around awkwardly, maybe trying to get out of it or hesitating before going over but the more I work on it the better she does timing and picking up her feet.
Jumping she's pretty lazy at. There's a lot of groundwork to be done there. Depending on how big the jump she'll try to trot over but usually she'll have to canter to make the jump and a lazy little jump that often ends up in knocking the poles down.
I'm going to be back tracking and working on mostly her stopping and smooth cantering. She does have a great slow canter but not so much if we're going out on the trails. I can stop her but I want her to stop off my seat rather than a one rein stop. Most of everything I've worked on her has been turning, being and things like that. But not enough work on just going straight and easy as much as I should of done.