Saturday lessons: 2 exercises + some other bits and pieces
1. Build on previous lateral work exercise to continue to improve ribcage mobility, bringing her hind legs underneath herself, and responsiveness off of my legs.
2. Attacking the canter lengthenings. Or, more specifically, canter lengthen to collected canter. In other words, the thing I ignore in hopes that it will just go away.
We did a lot in my lesson on Saturday morning, but it didn’t ever feel like we were cramming things in or rushing. We worked, we tried, we got things right. Yes.
-Volte in corner
-Turn on CL
-shoulder-fore to first pole, set at angle
-leg-yield in front of pole to end of pole
-FORWARD to the 2nd pole
-leg-yield in front of pole to the end of it
-Volte at rail, come around to repeat
—Now, there was one point, after the first pole, when I was so focused on going FORWARD that I forgot it really was only a few steps to the next pole and I needed to be preparing so we could actually go sideways. I realized there was no way it was going to happen because of poor planning, and fully expected us to step over the pole. As I was saying, “shit, sorry, we’re not going to make it –” Cho was like, “I GOT THIS,” and proceeded to beautifully leg-yield over to the rail without a single step over the pole.
This mare, though.
-Half 20m circle on the short side, true canter
-simple change after the corner to counter canter down the long side
-simple change before corner to true canter/ half 20m circle on short side
And when that’s been established,
-stay in true canter down the long side and attempt a BABY lengthening, from one letter to one or two down the line.
-KEY: Don’t stress out when she breaks to trot. Because it’s going to happen. A lot. It’s ok.
The goal is to build up those muscles of hers so that she can actually sit after a lengthening to collect, rather than falling into the trot. I am really excited to do this exercise – it’s not daunting because the canter is broken into pieces with all of the simple changes. AND, we’ll see improvement pretty clearly.
We also managed to do something in a canter circle that should be helpful. Basically, shoulder-fore in the canter, then straighten, uberstreichen, and “do nothing” – the goal being to get Cho to do more of the work in the canter and me less. If/when she breaks, organize and canter again. We also threw in a few goes at me taking my legs completely off of her. She broke every single time, but by the end of that bit she was picking it up right after breaking.
I need to get out of the habit of bringing her down when she breaks, and instead trot FORWARD to create that response.
We managed a baby diagonal trot lengthen or two in there as well.
Overall, super productive. It also highlighted that we are definitely not ready for our 2nd level test. I mean, we could do it. But I’d much rather spend the money and the time on a show when I feel like I can really ride all of the movements and have some room in there to play with — not just scrape by.
And just a little preview of the pictures and video from yesterday, which turned into an arena play day. More on that tomorrow!