Rama says hello!
Friday's are always tough, because it's the end of the working week, the indoor school is booked full for the riding school and the weekend is just around the corner! Today Vallu, Rama and Nelli all had a day off, which meant that all of them were walked in-hand for 20 minutes each as well as being outside in the paddocks as normal. Unfortunately this meant that Mr. Bastitini had an intense schooling session...

Although Basse may not have been happy with having to work hard, I on the other hand was super pleased with how he went! After being lunged yesterday, he felt really good. During yesterday's lunging, I concentrated on getting Basse working through his back thoroughly and relaxing into a long, full frame. Basse likes to do a small stiff trot and then when you ask him for more forwardness in order to get him to open up, he then picks up canter. Luckily, Basse has been very good recently, and is not too stiff in his back, which meant that he was very quick to relax and lengthen his stride in the trot. I think that yesterday's lunging session was really beneficial, since today he was very willing to go forward, was soft in the mouth and flexible in the back.

I started off with doing a 20m in walk and doing a small amount of shoulder-in on it, like we did yesterday during Karita's lesson with Rama. I haven't tried this exercise before on Basse, and was really pleased with how he responded. This exercise also helps me to make my hands stay more still and even, which is great for both of us. After practicing this in both directions, I then picked up trot and this felt great. No leaning on the left rein and very straight compared to his normal wonky self.

As a result, I wanted to practice transitions within canter, so from collected canter to medium canter. Usually for us to get to this stage, I have had to ride Basse several days in a row, before I think that he is ready and straight enough for this kind of work. The exercise is very simple; medium canter down the long sides of the arena, collection in the corner and collected canter during the short side before lengthening the stride again for medium canter. Very simple and very effective. My first problem was getting Basse to extend or lengthen his stride (again...) since this would require more work through his back for him. After some gentle coaxing, he was more than willing to shoot off down the long side with no control!! This meant that instead of being able to collect nicely during the short side of the arena, I was left with a horse pulling against my hand, above the bit and no relaxation or contact. After including some small circles at the end of the long side, Basse began to get the idea of slowing down and collecting, and in the end we did some beautiful collected and medium canters! 

Walking home through the paddocks
Snack time!
One sweaty and tired horse, wrapped in many many blankets to keep him warm!
After walking Vallu (which was more like trying to keep Vallu to stay calm and not jump about or walk all over me) we went to get some new hay! This is our horses' favorite hay, and should hopefully get Vallu and Nelli's stomachs to calm down...
So green...
I could eat this myself!
Tomorrow I have a lesson with Rama at Equstom with Ville Vaurio! I'm really looking forwards to this, even though they are predicting it to be really cold (-17℃) and it is at 8.30 in the morning!!

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