Overall, I was extremely pleased how the trip went. The only part of the training down there that didn't go well was the weather. I missed about 10-12 days of riding at various times in February and March because of the insane amount of rain. One week, we got 5+ inches over a couple day period!
As I wrote in a previous blog I laid out a list of goals to meet. Happily I achieved all of the goals, except for one:
- Increase Neo's strength and engagement
With th increase in strength, Neo's engagement of his hindquarters is at his best yet. He is holding himself in a higher degree of self carriage. Because of that, I have had to adjust my riding of him. I'm now basically having to sit and follow Neo's movement, rather than drive him. This is tough for both of us as we are making this adjustment. With it, he is now showing a loftier gait with more float.
- Continue to polish up the piaffe and passage so that the rhythm becomes more consistent and we have greater elevation
- Continue working on the 1's so that we can get 15 in a row consistently
David rode 15 1's on Neo a couple of times with no issues so it's just a matter of me getting them.
- Work on perfecting the small tour tests so that we have strong showings at The Dressage Affaire and The Festival of the Horse shows
- Have fun and enjoy the time in California
David Wilson did a phenomenal job with us. By far one of the best instructors I have ever worked with. Not only did I become a more effective rider but his insistence of riding with a quieter feel made a huge difference in my overall riding.
Everyone involved with W Farms welcomed me with open arms and I began to feel at home almost instantly.
I look forward to my next trip down to CA!