Brrr...cold training this week. It was actually hitting the low 40s early in the week, but started to get colder and colder as the week progressed, down to teens at night and low 30s during the day. Winter is coming!
On the plus side, all the horses were fantastic this week. My FEI horse "Monkey" (aka Escorial) is heavily into the piaffe-passage program and fussing with his one-time changes in preparation for Intermediare II next year (Monk is Westfalian, Ehrentusch/Fruehlingsrausch). Lots of exciting times being chased with a lunge whip, getting lazy Monk to pick his hind legs up. :)
My Mom's Holsteiner gelding Majek (aka Charismatique) will hopefully be showing Third level next year (he is Camiros/Meisterwerk/Landgraf). He picked up on the flying changes extremely quickly, and has absolutely no problem with them. Overall I've been working on improving his suppleness in the back and engagement. I often start by riding him very long and deep in the trot work to get the back working, then through increasingly engagement behind (lots of transitions), let him bring himself up. The canter can 't be ridden quite so deep as he gets croup high very easily.
I have a 3 year old Pablo/Idocus colt in training, who has been doing fantastic. He's been undersaddle for maybe a month, so this week I took him outside and rode him outdoors. This is a very important part of baby training...how to behave in multiple environments! Fortunately he is really great, so absolutely no problems. I love the Pablo babies, I started and showed another gelding earlier this year (Pablo/Winnetou) who is also fantastic.
Another training horse, a hanoverian mare by Londonderry, has been steadily improving. She came to me to resolve a difficult warm-up arena issue...around the barn we say she is very antisocial. :) Anytime another horse gets near her (and it actually varies depending on the angle and speed at which they approach her) she tries to wheel around and run the other way. She is a well-trained third level dressage horse, but has some of her own ideas. In the beginning, I had to really stay on her case to keep her going, now she is much more ridable. I can at least deal with it. But I'm trying to get it even more manageable, and I think I need to get her more uphill and securely in front of the leg in general for that to happen.
Finally, I also have a 4 year old German Oldenburg gelding by Harvard (Hohenstein)/Grusus in training that I really love. He is super sweet and easy going, but also a super nice mover and well balanced. He's been working on improving the basic gaits, ground cover and uphill feeling, hopefully for 1st level next year. He is super easy in his temperament, can be ridden outside and with other horses with no problem. He's great. :)
My 7 year old Dutch gelding Victor (Welt Hit II/Purioso) is unfortunately on layup due to a quarter crack in his foot. It is a long involved saga, which has been going on for several years, before I finally decided to lay him up for a while. It is unfortunate, as he is a fantastic talent and really likes having a job. He is bored and irritable at Mom's house, but hopefully I can get that crack grown out and put him back to work next fall. Kind of a bummer, but better than dealing with the constant stuggle of keeping his foot patched together.
As for my students, they have all been suffering by riding without stirrups for extended periods of time. A month ago, I watched Megan (Jordan) teach a jumping lesson, where she took away her students' stirrups and made them jump athletic, scopey jumpers through 3 foot grids. OMG! Subsequently, I have no patience now for dressage riders whining about doing a little sitting trot without stirrups. :) Plus its good for them.
That's it for now, I could write loads more but that's probably good.