Despite my lack of motivation, I am really enjoying my lessons. I had one yesterday and managed to convince the boy to come out since it was memorial day and take a video. I’m really glad I did because I’m seeing a LOT I have to work on! It felt so nice when I was on him but it doesn’t look nearly as nice as it felt.
This is the best bit where we’re working on changing direction without an over reaction on either of our parts:
Unfortunately all I can really focus on in this video is my bad posture. I thought my hands were getting steadier but clearly they’re not so I guess I’ll have to get the twine back out. Also I’m going to have to do a little bit of no stirrup work to strengthen those legs.
Besides this, we worked on starting leg yields at the trot. We turned up just off the rail and worked on getting back to it. I didn’t manage it, but we did learn a lot. Dandy can yield over there but instead of doing nice big crosses like we want, he just leans his shoulder in and drifts. Clearly this is not correct. However, when I do try to correct this, I over react with my hands which gets both of us all out of whack. So while we didn’t get anywhere close to having a nice cross over, we did work on quietness in my cues. I could really feel the improvement in how nice and quiet he was when I was nice and quiet.
To finish the lesson we again worked on the canter transitions. Instead of the spiral exercise, JLE taught us a new one: Trot down the long length of the arena and when we get through the corner turn back (like a half 10m circle) to the long side facing the opposite direction and head back to the rail (sort of pointing for the far corner). When you get there your bend should now be the opposite way and as you hit the rail, ask for a canter. It took me a time or two to get the exercise as I was getting to the wall too early, but once I had it, I really liked it. Not only is it working on balance through small circles (which is something Dandy and I need) but it also sets us up perfectly for the transition. It’s also nice to have something that isn’t just practice on a circle. I get really bored of doing that over and over again.