And no pictures or video.... sorry!! I finally got home from work with nothing urgent to do and pretty weather so I saddled up for a ride. Here's a funny story. My husband was checking fencing while I went to get my saddle. Chrome was standing at the gate waiting on me, but when he saw my husband head toward the persimmon tree he followed him. So lucky me had to (well I didn't have to) carry my saddle (luckily only 17 pounds) halfway across the pasture. Then I proceeded to saddle Chrome without a halter or bridle or anything on him. He just stood there. :D Then I put the bridle on and mounted up. We finished up with the fences then walked back to the house because neither of us had a phone for a timer. I wanted to see how long I could stay in two point now that I knew what to expect and my calves haven't been cramping at night anymore.
So my time was... four minutes and two seconds!!!! I'm so happy. I knew my beginning time could have been better if it hadn't been for the calf cramps. This time I was standing still again, but Chrome did move around a bit to scratch. I managed to keep my balance. I almost grabbed the saddle horn once, but remembered in time to not touch it. Since we were standing still I just dropped the reins and put my hands on my hips. I tried holding them out to the side as if I were walking on a balancing beam, but that made it harder to balance for some reason. The reason I finally had to sit down is because of my back. My lower right side started hurting, then Chrome moved and I lost my balance. My abs were hurting too so this is definitely a good core workout. I'll have to keep doing this even after the challenge I think. :D I'm hoping next time I ride I can get some pictures so you guys can critique my two point. I have never been taught anything about two point so I can use all the pointers I can get lol.
After that we walked over some logs (for his stifles) and then stood for seven minutes (it's always seven minutes!) at the salt block while he blissfully licked away. I don't know why the deer salt block is so much better than the one in his pasture. They are the exact same thing! I think he likes the deer one because it's sitting on a stump and it's not in his pasture so it's new to him lol. After that we walked and trotted around. I practiced two point in both gaits while holding the saddle horn. I think my stirrups are too long or maybe it's the Aussie saddle but I have a really hard time balancing when moving!! Maybe the critique will help me out. :)
At one point I was trotting him up the driveway with me posting. I had no plans or intentions of cantering. I started trotting at the very beginning of the driveway instead of halfway up like I was doing. When we got halfway down Chrome acted like he wanted to canter so I gave him a nudge and the vocal cue. He jumped right into the canter! I've been apprehensive about the canter because he has crow hopped a few times, so when he drops his head I kept pulling his head up. This time I kept the reins loose and resisted the temptation to pull his head up when he dropped it and it was perfect!! He held the canter for eight strides or so. I was ecstatic. He hasn't cantered more than two strides on the driveway (he did canter a lot more in the pasture back when we first tried it), so that's a huge improvement. It's always the rider's fault huh? At least it was an easy fix! Start trotting sooner so he can find his balance and then don't touch the reins when he transitions into the canter. So simple. I did it a second time to see if it was a fluke and it wasn't. The second time he was on his left lead. I don't know what he was on the first time because I was just so blown away that we were cantering more than two strides.
Anyway the ride was forty minutes, with four minutes of me standing still in two point, seven minutes at the salt block, a few minutes standing still talking to my dad, two short canters and the rest of the time spent walking and trotting. :) I'm so proud of my boy! I really need to get some pictures of him. You will be amazed at how white he's gotten!