I tacked him up really slowly today, as I realised while I was thinking about it yesterday that I tend to tack Diesel up in a bit of a rush, and this may be adding to the problems I am having with putting his saddle on. Lo and behold there was very minimal aggression, so I will make the effort to get to the yard 10 minutes earlier and take my time tacking up from now on.
I lunged for a few minutes before riding, to get any 'fizz' from yesterday out of his system before I got in the saddle, and he was very sluggish. When I got on he was just like the normal Diesel, still forward going but not sharp or silly like yesterday. I didn't want to push too much and wait for him to play up again, so I limited myself to a 15 minute ride today. I spent the first 10 minutes working on control in walk, with circles, halts and changes of rein. I do this at one end of the school (between C and X) as the indoor is a large arena, and it seems unnecessary to travel the whole length for warming up and walking. After this I wanted to stop, but my dad made me carry on and have a trot (good old dad!), which was the best trot I have had on Diesel yet. We went large around the arena for one circuit then two 20 metre circles at C, as the first one went wrong, followed by a trot to halt. I then changed the rein an trotted a 20 metre circle on the other rein. Diesel really started to listen to my leg aids and to steer from my legs in trot rather than just my hands. So I aim to continue to work on this and continuing to use leg aids for steering in walk.
The Itch Stop also seems to be really helping Diesel's tail, he hasn't been rubbing it and the hair seems to be growing already, so I will use it a bit longer then review.
Schooling for next week:
- Continue working Diesel off the leg more, and ride him more forwards.
- Work on my position.
- Get Diesel used to leg aids for bending and turning in walk.
- Continue to introduce steering aids in trot
- Use ground poles to further improve Diesel's walk.