Bending Bali

I have run away for the weekend to Chesapeake City, MD to take lessons from JJ Tate and Ashley Perkins. I brought both Bali and Neuf, Bali, because I want to get to my USDF Silver medal, and Neuf for an overnight camp.

I arrived and got the horses settled into their stalls. There is always a lot of drama when I bring two horses. Bali screams her head off when I take Neuf around, Neuf screams for Bali when I take her.

Neuf is up on his tippy toes, which makes him seem about 18 hands tall. My plan was to play it by ear to see how much I get done with him, and so far, hand walking him around the barns and arenas has been a lot of work. I will go take him on a walk again this afternoon, but there will be no riding him today. I don’t even think I’ll try to lunge him today.

Now, onto my lesson. JJ asked what I’ve been working on, I summarized the past few months, and then we started working.

Walked while talking, then did some rising trot and leg yielding from the quarterline to the wall, steep leg yield, not gradual. Really keeping bend. Then a 3-loop serpentine, leg yielding out to each loop.

Next, we started cantering, left lead canter down quarterline, leg yield to wall, 10m circle at E, continue straight, then next quarter line, after the 10m circle, halfpass back to the center line.

On the right lead canter, leg yielded over to wall, 10m circle, straight, then counterbent her and leg yielded back to center line, straightened, then turned right. I got a couple of lead changes tossed in there, not intentionally requested. This exercise has much the same purpose as the counter bend in counter canter that I’d been doing as part of warm up, getting the lift in the shoulders.

After a walk break, we did some trot work. We were to really focus on the bend, JJ thinks that when we get a better and more consistent bend, that Bali will have more freedom in her shoulders and withers. So, we did shoulder-in to renvers on the quarter line. Really keeping her bent. After a few of these, we were back to the rail and half passed to center line.

In the trot when half passing back to the center line, keep moving the haunches over until they were on the far side of the center line, the go the direction you were going, ride the half circle in haunches out, or renvers, and I really needed to focus on keeping my inside shoulder back and flat.

After straightening, I asked for a few medium trot steps. Today, we ended with the trot work as we’d done canter work in the middle.

I need to continue working on getting a good bend through and behind her withers. Tomorrow I ride with Ashley.

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About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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