James owed me a favor, so yesterday he accompanied me to the stable and acted as my personal photographer while I rode Rev.My riding career has been full of long stretches without a trainer. During those periods, I've often used photos as a way of allowing me to be my own eyes on the ground. Yesterday's pictures confirmed a lot of things--both good and bad--that I'd already suspected about how Rev and I are doing.
When I first started riding Rev, it was a real struggle to get him to do a flat, four beat walk. He still has a tendency to jig, but we've made great strides as far as his walk work goes.
I wish he wasn't so far behind the vertical here and I don't know what's up with my chair seat, but I really, really like the way he's stepping up under himself with those back leg. This is the main thing I hope to teach him--to relax his back and use his back end.
Onto the trot! Unfortunately, this is a pretty typical moment for us at this stage.
See? Here it is again--head behind the bit, front legs waving in the air and back end trailing.
I've been trying to get him to relax into a quieter, more balanced gait.
Some days, he does this quite well, but yesterday was a bit of a struggle. Saturdays are busy at this barn, and Rev was distracted by all the commotion. Still, we did manage a few nice moments.
I haven't cantered Rev much, as I'm really trying to concentrate on his walk and trot.
I made an exception yesterday mostly because I wanted a few pictures. As you can see, he has a tendency to get all rev'ed up (ha ha)...
and lose the lead behind. If anyone ever needs a bunch of cross canter reference pictures, just let me know. After yesterday's photo session, I seem to have a plethora...
So, that's where we are one month into our acquaintance. There's still lots of room for improvement, but we're getting there. Rev is a consistently cheerful and willing partner and riding him makes me smile!
I feel very fortunate to have found myself another good lease situation. I look forward sharing our progress together in the months to come.