The day of “on the bit” in lessons

Tonight, Lauren declared it “on the bit” day. So, no matter what I wanted to work on, it was to be on the bit!

I was really thinking about my seat, how I sit, how I brace my back, and working on being a bit looser in hopes that I could get some forward. I’m not sure if it was that, or gradual results of my insisting on more forward every.single.ride, but I’m starting to feel more thrusting power from behind…glimmers of it, here and there.

So, after the usual chit-chat while I warmed up, it was onto work. I started out playing with some haunches in, then we took that into half pass. I had played with this some during the past week, but my arena is a dust bowl, so I was just in a big field, which actually was better. I didn’t run out of room. But, I really worked on getting into the haunches in on the first step, and keeping a nice angle, then a bit more bend. What seemed to work nicely tonight was when I brought my inside hand knuckles towards my belly button to get more bend, then used my outside leg to ask for haunches in. After that, we did some half pass across a shallow diagonal, both ways.

Took a stretch break, and then started asking for haunches in at the canter. To the left, using my right leg, it was ok. To the right, using my left leg, and also, her weaker hind leg…or if not weaker, it is the side that gets sore more, it was not quite as good. She fell out of canter a couple of times, but it was certainly a respectable attempt.

Then, back to trot, and working on collecting it. Really collecting it, as in, oh, piaffe collecting it. Lauren came out with the piaffe whip, and for the first time ever, Bali got all bug eyed after one swish sound effect. After we re-established calm, and reminded Bali that nobody ever hits her if she is not running them over (someone used to have serious boundary issues at the gates) she then just got a bit rushy, but that was good. It gave me something to channel. Or, “take a risk” and see if I could channel it into piaffe. Ack…that is hard. I think there might have been 2 steps in there, somewhere, and then it was onto forward. Mostly it was just really collected trot, me working on keeping the same energy with smaller steps…and me playing with my seat. I think I might have found a seat action that at least produced a result, but I’m needing to think about it more, and will need to play with it a few more times to see if I can reproduce it. And, then, I’ll need to process which muscles I was using. I felt like it was a mild pulsing, thinking of lifting my seat in rhythm.

After all that collection, we had a couple of woohoo mediums across the diagonal. With the added incentive of the whip whizzing back in the corner where we’d left Lauren. Sound effects to get the energy, reward, and pet her, and hope that some learning has occurred on her part. Hoping she understands what I want, because this is where green on green is hard. I’ve never ridden a school master and ridden medium or extended gaits. So, I’m also figuring out what it should feel like. I want to send her to Lauren for a couple of weeks of training someday, but college eats up my budget.

And…because I feel that pictures are pretty, one from a show last June I think. At Morven park. This was not our best test, as we had a bit of naughtiness, but her braids are so pretty.


On the Tanq front, he got new shoes today, and Equipak. Let me tell you, he is a huge fan! SOUND!!!! Completely and he felt really good. We did a lot of training level test exercises tonight. I played with making my outside rein like a side rein, by holding the pad, and going right, he was nice with it, going left, he was having difficulties. I did not make a big deal out of it, I was just pleased that he was sound, his transitions were nice, he got his leads every time, and he was a happy camper.

Tanq, figuring out how to jump before his foot troubles of the past month.

I might be getting over to ride with Richard Williams soon. That will be very fun. He used to come teach a monthly clinic near me, and I really enjoyed working with him, but those no longer happen, and I’m not up for clinic organizing yet, so I’m going to head down to his place for a weekend of lessons. That should give me lovely ride reports.


About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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