Since I was way too tired to try to type on my iPad last night, this is a late write up, so will be abridged…not to mention I have pages of notes!
The day started out with a lesson on Chip. What a cool horse!
As I walked Chip around, I tried to keep the yielding I’d done on Bali with Ashley in mind. Once JJ came in, it was time to get to work.
Elbows. I need to not give them away so much. I’ve gotten better at keeping my reins shorter, but I often just let my elbows go. I also need to keep them planted at my hips, let them be an extension of my core. T-rex arms is my visual!
Next, JJ needed to rearrange my leg, longer thigh, rotate in more, keeping the top, inside of my calf on the horse, heels out, toes forward. This was quite the stretch on my IT band. I am feeling it tonight! She said that now that I’ve got Bali to 3rd level, I need to have an upper level leg to go further. I had the stirrups a bit shorter on Chip and ended up shortening my stirrups on Bali as well, it helped keep the leg position on the wide ponies.
Then we discussed the aids for my half halt. The lower front of my quadriceps engage for the downward half halt, the hamstring for forward. I’d tried to learn to use the hamstring alone in the Balimo clinic a couple of years ago, and this came to mind.
I need to keep my elbows back and the connection in the upward transitions.
I’m not so good with my right connection, which Bali shows.
For the walk-trot transition, sit heavy, use the top inside of calf, core, less leg or whip. I noted this is a cat tilt, with shoulder (think squeezing the shoulder blades flat under the bra straps) & kidney loops (to keep from overarching the lower back while squeezing the shoulder blades).
Once I figured out how to get this grand prix horse to trot, I then used leg to get a softer feel in my hand.
In rising trot, I need more swing to my shoulders, think of my entire torso as a connected box, and to get that swing, I think of outside boob (pecs for any dudes who might read this) towards the inside ear on the rise. My shoulders like the horse’s shoulders.
Once I had a nice feel and connection, JJ had me slow it into a piaffe, then open that into passage, and a few transitions between those. Wowza!!! That passage is some cool stuff! Way cool, soft bounciness.
After we finished the lesson, I had the rare experience of handing Chip off to the awesome, cheerful, & helpful working students and barn staff so I could dash over to start watching Steffen Peters teach amazing riders! I was barely late, missing the introduction only, and since Ashley Perkins was the first rider, and since she was teaching me on Bali, I wanted to watch all of her ride.
I think that the clinic notes will need to be another post.