Harmless Dilettante What I should have said was nothing.
Tuesday: Penelepe and Ferra, dressage training. Riding Ferra with the shorter stirrup (#14 1/2) has made me far more secure in the saddle. I’m trying very hard to be conscious of my right leg sneaking forward. Bend those joints! We talked a bit about Ferra’s tendency to get behind the verticle, even though she’s working correctly through her back before he rode her. Interestingly, she seemed to have a much better head position than I’ve yet seen on the ride after our talk. Maybe I got him thinking about it more? I asked what exercises we could do to make her carry her head better. He recommended asking his clinician in the clinic on Sunday. I’m still working on getting my circles round and rhythmic on her, so more advanced stuff will be hard to work in, but I’ll try.
Wednesday: Penelepe and Winnie, dressage training. Winnie and I did training level test 1 fairly easily, only picking up the wrong lead on the second canter circle. (Winnie and my trainer were doing lots of counter canter work in preparation for the second level tests during her training ride before I got on.) he suggested I look down when asking for the canter depart saying “and now” starting with the outside shoulder forward and squeezing for the upward transition on “now” when the inside shoulder is forward. At the trot, when the inside shoulder is forward the outside hind leg is back, so that the horse can push off correctly into canter. I can practice the timing when I’m lunging Penelepe as well. That, positioning her head to the inside, and squeezing gently with the legs, my inside leg at the girth and my outside a few inches behind it, and me sitting up properly in the saddle is the key to a correct canter depart. I also started getting her sufficiently low in the neck and on the vertical with her head. I can’t believe how tucked in that looks from my perspective in the saddle. I’ll have to watch the mirror more closely As we practice circles at A and F.
Thursday: Penelepe and Ferra, dressage Training. Penelepe is finally starting to settle back down into her work. She still had a couple short tantrums, but is no longer looking like she’s having multiple melt downs every circuit of the arena. She’s too fat at the moment, so the diet I’ve put her on is hopefully helping eliminate the excess energy she’s been channeling into pure resistance.
Ferra and I practiced our canter work. I need to follow better with my hands, even when she gets strong and surges forward. However, my more secure position meant that I finally felt comfortable cantering her on my own after our lesson. Her left lead is infinetly easier than her right. With more training, she should get stronger and more balanced so that there isn’t so much discrepancy from side to side.
Ferra is ready to show first level, plus she and my trainer and working on half passes and flying changes every session. Maybe I’ll have him ride the six year old FEI test at the next schooling show?