Since Steffen had to catch a flight, his clinic was starting at 8am, instead of 9. That meant that I needed to get my lesson in on Chip, with JJ in at 7am. Then, Ashley had a full day, so asked to teach me on Bali after I finished on Chip, and we’d just miss the first ride of Steffen’s clinic. Since I did those, then jotted my notes down while watching the second ride of the day over in the clinic, they are highlights only.
I started out on Chip, practicing the same feel and consistency in my contact as I’d had on Saturday. I was doing pretty good with that walk trot transition and after Chip was warmed up and then we did some canter work. I tried my “lift the inside seatbone, outside leg a bit back” method….and stayed walking. Tried it again, being more precise with the seatbone. Came around and asked JJ “How should I be asking for the canter?”, “you need your outside leg way back on him”. So, I lifted my inside seatbone, and brought my outside leg way back, and voila, I had a nice canter.
Then, to collect the canter, that pirouette canter, (although not that collected) bring both legs back to collect the canter before the walk transition. Keep my elbows, and did this a few times.
We finished off with some piaffe and passage, and my giggle for the lesson was when JJ told me “Whoa, whoa, he is running away with you!” while in passage and I used more abs, and he slowed to a proper passage. Let me tell you what…being run away with in passage is a far cry from being run away with in a gallop on an off the track racehorse! It felt more like a super-collected trot, but the real passage is a really cool, slow bounce, and is very soft to sit on! It was a neat lesson.
Next, I got Bali tacked up and jumped on her. I started out with the same yielding I’d done on Friday (Bali had an escape incident right before that storm rolled in, that scared us all thoroughly gave Bali a day off from a lesson on Saturday) and then also adding in that steady feel and connection I’d been getting with Chip. The upward transitions were easier and quicker on Bali with my rearranged leg and shorter stirrups.
We did some half pass to leg yield to half pass to leg yield on the quarter line to the wall and back, and if we lost the movement, come back to walk and do the yield. For now, I need to pat her on the left. She is not steady enough in the right to do my pats on that side for now.
Overall, the improvement was there and riding a school master did exactly what I’d hoped, helped me to set the bar a bit higher and be more precise in what I am asking from Bali.
I hope to do this again before winter!