I decided at the last minute to set up my video camera to capture today's schooling session. Yay for having a video camera, but when you only have a tripod available to work with, you don't get good following coverage and close-ups.
Anyway, I tried again to focus on keeping my hands quieter and I think for the most part I did a good job. We started out at a walk, of course, walking over poles or doing circles or changes of direction. Then moving up to trot, Pony noticed the deer in the woods behind the arena. Instead of having the boogey-deer lurking in the corner (granted, they were napping, not being rude), I decided we should go chase them away so we left the arena to move the deer and then came back and had a nice ride.
We did some trot work over the poles and I tried to focus on straightness and pace, which are harder than they should be! Sometimes I'm sure I make it harder for Pony. I notice if I let my upper body creep forward in an exaggerated forward-seat position, then she slows down and gets sort of balled-up, so we had some bobbles in that respect, especially at the canter.
Anyway, here's our first round of cavaletti/pole work.
Then we did our first little cavaletti jumps on a figure eight.
And we finished with some more little cavaletti jumps on the figure eight, but this time I focused a little more on schooling the straightness after the jump. She's pretty smart and clever so it doesn't take much for her to get the idea.
We finished with some trotting over the two poles and then had a nice walk cool-out on the trails out back, chasing the deer out of our path.
Just for good measure, I did trailer loading again to be sure I got my body positioning right and again she walked right on!
Such a good pony!