Okay, so it’s REALLY cold today. My WeatherBug is saying it’s 18 deg, and yes, I didn’t let that stop me from having a lesson. When I got to the barn, Barbara was giving the across-the-street-neighbor kids a lesson in jumping – just gymnastics. I asked if we could work over the poles too for my lesson, but no actually jumping. She thought that was a splendid idea.
At first she put out five poles in a row that were at a canter distance. We started out trotting them, with no problems. Then we tried to canter them. This got me a little nervous because I’ve never cantered poles with PJ. It also got PJ nervous because he’s never cantered poles! The best I could get him after two attempts was to canter the first pole and then drop to a trot. Barbara realized that it was probably a bit too much for him, so she broke it up into two single poles – one across X and one on the long side – and then two poles together on the other long side.
We started trotting all of the poles. Then we cantered one single pole. Then the two single poles. We ended cantering around and doing all of the poles in both directions.
It was the perfect thing to do on a day when I couldn’t feel my toes. My body just wasn’t working right and PJ was a little up and distracted by the horses in the pastures around the indoor who were also hyper due to the cold. I didn’t have to have a perfect seat to do the pole work – just sending him forward. On the other hand, PJ had to pay attention or he tripped over the poles, and because it was new to him, he quickly figured it out that he had to pay attention. It was also a great confidence booster for both of us because it was something new that we got through together.