Blog for August 2017 This month we have been working on Fulltide’s suppleness - we have been doing lots of leg yielding and shoulder in as well as working on the smaller circles in walk and trot. Our leg yielding has been a challenge, but I can say we have found the right buttons on the left rein leg yielding right but the on the right rein leg yielding left, it is more of a challenge and is still working progress so we practice a little each time we school then change the subject to something different as it is something we have both been struggling with, its not that Fulltide finds it difficult, it’s because of my weaker side so I am finding it more difficult to get the aids right. We have also been working on our medium trot which is improving all the time and Fulltide has now started to lift through the shoulder and push from behind. We have been working on two different exercises to improve the medium trot but I have only been asking for medium trot for a few strides until she gets stronger and more balanced otherwise she looses her balance and rushes. The first one is working on a square and collecting the trot going around the four corners then asking for a bigger trot on the long sides of the square – this exercise really gets Fulltide thinking and listening to what I am asking. The second exercise that we have been working on is asking for a shoulder in position for a few strides coming out of the corners then straightening her up and asking for medium trot for a few strides and brining her back. Our downward transitions have also been our focus this month making sure they are smooth and that Fulltide listens to my aids as she can be a little delayed to come back to me from trot so we have been using the school markers to perfect our transitions as well as making sure Fulltide stays soft, relaxed and forward as sometimes she tries to hard and we end up with her coming back a little to much. I am pleased to say they are much improved. I have also achieved a life long ambition this month and have learnt myself to canter with Fulltide’s help, it is something that I had always thought would be impossible but have always wanted to do. She is such an amazing little horse who tries her upmost to do her best for her rider and has a lovely canter, which gave me the confidence to try as I know she won’t do anything. We had a few misunderstandings at first as she wasn’t sure what I was asking and it was as if she was saying ‘Mum we don’t canter do we?’ but she grew in confidence and trusted me to achieve what I was asking. The canter is far from perfect as I am struggling keeping my balance but it is getting better each time – we started off just cantering along the long side then trotting for the corners but on a good day which are getting more frequent now I am getting the hang on the canter we manage to canter along the long side and do a 20 metre circle. Fulltide is such a good girl as once in canter if I ask her to trot she comes straight back to trot. My next goal and I mean future goal would be to have a go at an able bodied Prelim test. We have also been doing a little bit of pole work and some tiny jumps to keep Fultide’s work varied, which we both enjoy.