Training Update 5 - Cha Cha Cha Changes...

The last few weeks were full of preparing for the show and show aftermath. Before the show, I kept my focus on the changes and was still insecure. After the show, it seems that the penny dropped and the flying changes feel so easy and great that I can hardly describe this terrific feeling. Hafl now LOVES them meaning that he is trying to do them wherever whenever! When riding on the long side of the arena, he makes several attempts to change...well, calm down, Hafl, no need to start tempi changes right now!

Since our last training post update, we mostly rode with or without trainer. I hardly ever lunged him but he had a free jumping lesson last week. He is  a very clever horse so we started to jump him on both hands and he loved it - apart from getting one in and out wrong and jumping to fences at a time! OH MY GOD I was so much afraid that he would break his legs as there were four more fences ahead but he mastered them without a problem. We mainly worked on gymnastics with up to 6 in and outs in a row.

Hafl got way more supple in the trot recently and I start to feel one or two good strides in canter as well. There is a long way to go for the canter though. We also started with shoulder and haunches in as preparation for the canter half passes which we will have to show in July already. Time flies! Apart from that, he gets some pasture time after every ride as the weather was great recently. Just yesterday temperatures dropped tremendously and so we are back in blanketing! ARRRGGHHH!

If he could only be always this supple in the shoulder ins

We also had a fun session yesterday when Stephan worked Hafl in hand for warm up (straight, shoulder in, haunches in in walk) and then I let him trot for the first time! On the left hand, it went really well, on the right hand side Hafl got a tad fast and dragged Stephan around - so sorry that I had to giggle seeing that... After that, he held him while I piaffed him and I have to say: that pony's got talent! There were only a few steps but when he does them, they are great. Last week Tuesday, I had a piaffe session with a renowned trainer whose father used to ride at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and he helped me from the ground. Need to brag now as he also said that Hafl was really talented! GO HAFL! After I rode yesterday, I allowed Stephan once again to mount and then we did some fun movements like walk pirouettes and a little shoulder and haunches in - just to give him a little perspective of what these movements feel and look like from above. Hafl is a great schoolmaster and I am sure if he wasn't that small and tiny and Stephan that tall they would make a great pair. Sigh!

The next show is next week and I cannot wait for it. I have such a confident feeling that we can get the changes right now at the show as well. Again, it is not easy to describe this feeling that almost brings tears to my eyes when I think of how far we have come...

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a flying change on the diagonal - not perfectly round in the neck, but at least with an uphill tendency #notyetbraveenoughforavideopost

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