Tonight there was a little jump set up so Liam and I hopped over it a bunch of times. He had his “Lets do it again!” face on tonight, loving every minute of the anticipation before the little jump and the excitement afterwards.
Then our friend Brittany came and set up some cavaletti for us. She put 4 poles on the ground parallel to each other, and raised the left side of the first one up a few inches off the ground, then the right side of the second one, the left side of the third one, and the right side of the last one. So the poles weren’t high off the ground, but alternated which side was lifted. It’s kind of like that army exercise where the tires are laying on the ground and you have to run hopping through it, putting a foot in a tire with each step. She also set them a little closer together than we normally would make them for a trot stride so that Liam would have to collect himself a bit.
He bumped a pole the first time through, but quickly got the idea. The next time was much smoother, and the next time even better! It was a good exercise for him, and also for me. It forced me to ride him correctly as we approached the innocent looking poles, because I knew if we didn’t ride into it balanced and communicating there was no way we would ride out of it without sending poles flying everywhere! I also learned that Liam doesn’t need as much help as I originally thought. When I gave him more rein and made him responsible for slowing himself down and I just focused on keeping my shoulders and eyes up, he took care of his part and the whole thing went smoother. This is an exercise we will definitely come back to again.