Why does it take so long to develop accurate propioception and muscle memory? I still feel like I’m sitting up straight and evenly when I’m weighting my outside more.
I had a lesson on Bali today, and it was a really good lesson, her quality of movement is getting better and better now that I’m getting her more through and on the bit. We did our warm up of getting her long in the neck, reaching for the bit and swinging through the back, then had a walk break, and we did some more of the half step work. Bali is grasping the concept of sitting more in the haunches and lifting her hind legs more. It is neat as I’m starting to get more feel for when her shoulders come up. After a couple of laps of the ring working on the half steps, a brief walk break and into some shoulder in.
Then, it was shoulder in to renvers…and hello pretzel with the locked hips.
To reiterate to myself, we dropped back to walk work. Shoulder in, half halt on outside rein, allow room for neck on outside, flexion and bend to inside, weight inside seatbone, BRING WEIGHT TO INSIDE!!! And suddenly, the shoulder in just flows. Change bend to renvers, from shoulder in, change legs, weight new inside (really the outside to the arena wall) seatbone, long through new outside leg, don’t lean, keep the shoulders over the inside. Which still feels like I’m leaning, when I’m not. Ugh. We did this both ways, using school trot after success in the walk.
I tend to be tight in my lower back, I had an injury a while back and the muscles still get tight and I seem to have developed a habit of holding my lower back more still than it should be. This means I block the horse’s movement. So, in addition to this, at some point, James noticed that I had stopped moving my lower back. So, in addition to all those steps above, I had to mentally think “swing your hips”. I felt like I was forcing it, but when I saw the mirror, it was not.
Then, we had another break, and discussed what has been hard in the Third level tests, and half pass right is sometimes tough, haunches in right is tough too, but both are easier after we work on lowering her hindquarters and lifting her shoulders. I practiced that a bit and at one point was thinking “lengthen” in the half pass right, also move the hips…and it came together nicely. Half pass left was lovely.
A few stretches at the trot for Bali and that was our day.
Bali needs to be clipped and I realize that I don’t have enough sharp clipper blades. So, get the blades sharpened soon, and then get her a haircut!
Tanq was really nice tonight as well, I worked on getting steps of shoulder in and haunches in on him, and doing the shoulder in, forward 2 steps towards center of ring, leg yield back to wall in shoulder in position, shoulder in straight, rinse repeat. Haunches in is still tough for him. The concept of moving his haunches in from the leg, not his entire body, ala leg yield, is tough for him.