Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clinic with David and Skills at Arms!

At wednesday and thursday this week I've been attending yet another clinic with David Oliveira. Seems it will be the last one of this year so I'm happy that I managed to attend.

Bosco is still quite young both in his physique and in his mind so we mostly worked at easy exercises for loosening of the neck. The day before the clinic I had asked Pelle to help me a bit with the left side since I've had some troubles with it for the past few weeks. Luckily for me, Pelle had just picked up David from the airport so they were both sitting beside the arena and cooperated on helping me. Win! This "lesson" I was to exaggerate the flexing to the inside on both hands. Keep the flexion until he released, then push forward with seat and legs. This worked really well and we managed to get the left side almost as good as the right side.

During the clinic we worked on the flexibility of the neck, alternating flexing to the outside and the inside. We also worked at mobilization to the outside and to the inside, not as much as we have done before but some to engage his hindlegs a bit more.

Cantering has been a problem for us because of the small round pen, we have just a small space, and Bosco isn't really strong enough to canter as collected as he has to. So while we had an arena we worked a lot on the canter. First we worked on both canters only in the big circles, then during the clinic we proceeded to canter at the circle, then over the diagonal, trot in the corner then new canter. We actually managed to do this quite well, I think we only missed one of the transitions. It was hard to maintain the right rhythm across the diagonal, but this will get better when he gets stronger. The last lesson we could actually do canter serpentines with canter, trot, canter transitions on the center line. They might not be good enough for a dressage test yet, but we're getting there, slow but steady! We also used trot, halt transitions, while at halt I was to collect Bosco and back up a few steps before going forward again. After doing this a couple of times his trot became more collected and I had some really nice rein-backs, which I don't think I've ever managed to do with Bosco. Fun fun!

Cantering is still heavy work, but at least he got his hindlegs with him

David managed to get Bosco a bit worked up and crashed into the other horses who, by coincidence was on the exact same place in the arena. 

Pelle is showing off to the photographer 
(he has got a whip in his hand, but aims quite well so you can't see it :p)

David and Pelle is playing knights with whips as lances

Wednesday was a hot day, Bosco almost changed color 

Flexion to the outside

I just want to finish off with this picture. I have never seen myself sit as correctly as this before. I'm quite amazed actually! Still got things to improve here aswell, but this is a huge step forward!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from thursday as it was pouring down all day. There was some pictures taken but the rain was so heavy that the automatic focus, focused on the rain.

After the clinic was finished I stayed for one more night so that I didn't have to drive home the same day. This morning me and a friend wanted to try out skills. Skill at Arms is a competition where you use sword, spear and lance in different exercises. Here is a video of Luke Binks, a knight from Australia who has been at Trollspeilet the last couple of months, riding through the skills course I trained at today. The amazing commentaries is done by Pelle. 

I tried the spear, sword and the lance and Bosco behaved amazingly good. I was quite surprised. Even with me hitting the quintain in full speed canter he didn't even flinch when I hit the metal plate. He might be a good horse for jousting! We also jumped the small jump, and Bosco jumped correctly and didn't even try to run on the outside! I beat my old record of spins on the quintain, the old record was 4 or 6 (don't really remember), now I got 8 and that was the only time we counted. Fun Fun!

And on a side note to this last bit, during the second weekend of july there was an unofficial world championship in jousting, in France. Norway won, out of 10 teams! The Norwegian team consisted of Lisa Holar, Petter Ellingsen and Erik Ryen. Second place went to the Australian team who consisted of one norwegian, Pelle, one from australia, Luke Binks and a german guy. Lisa, Petter, Pelle and Luke are good friends of mine so this was fun for many of us! 

These guys compete in full scale medieval armor and it looks spectacular! Pictures can be seen at this thread (on both pages). Pelle has a green shield with a white horse, Luke is wearing black and yellow, Petter has the brown and white horse and Lisas horse has a green cover. 

For you norwegian readers: here is a couple of articles: