Cholula has been a little….unwieldy in the ribcage lately. It’s maybe a little bit stiffness but it’s also part of an ongoing saga also known has “Honey Badger don’t give a shit about your right leg.”
It presents itself in all kinds of fun ways, like not coming into the bit, riding hollow and stiff, behind the leg, feeling like I can’t soften her jaw, etc. So much of this, so much of the time, stems from her not listening to my right leg.
So, an exercise:
Large around the arena, volte in the corner before the long side, move into shoulder-in to B (or E), volte, travers to corner, ride the corner, repeat exercise on other side. When it is good and accurate, alternate turning down the centerline to half-pass back to the rail.
–It does not matter if it takers her nearly the entire length of the arena to half-pass. Building.
Keep the swing. This is slower than you think it is. This is always slower. She doesn’t look slow or lazy, she looks like she is collected and using herself and swinging and good. She looks good. It feels slow. This is ok.
Swing your pelvis.
Seriously. Your horse moves when you swing your pelvis. When you lock up through there, that is when she slows to nearly a walk in the lateral work. Always.
Uberstreichen during the exercise.
And after, stretchy chewy trot and canter. Slow the canter down as much as you can and really get her to stretch down over her topline. Release lactic acid.
We did this on Saturday in our lesson. We did it again last night. Last night’s ride was much shorter, because she was so fantastic. There was one segment of shoulder-in where all of the stars aligned with her and with me and I was like “THIS RIGHT HERE BITCHES IS HOW YOU SHOULDER-IN AND LOOK LIKE A BOSS WHILE DOING IT.” I was facing away from the mirror at this point, but I am positive I was having a Carl Hester moment of greatness.
Overall, really, it was all so good. She was so supple, and whenever I glanced in the mirror she didn’t seem to be having any trouble getting those hind legs really under herself and stepping over.
And then we worked on canter/trot/canter transitions. And we practiced the 2nd 1 serpentine with simple changes, which will be just fine. And we ended with the stretchy trot (which wasn’t the best – curling) and stretchy canter (which was ok) and a long walk on a loose rein, with the occasional reminder with random halts that we really don’t need to walk mach 10 to cool out.
THIS. It is the rides like THIS that make it all worth it.