I came out on Bali, and was warming up while JJ was riding another horse. After she finished that horse, I got set up with the headset and she addressed that I need more structure and purpose to my warm up.
Many thanks to Kyrie for videoing this lesson on my phone! My notes are much more complete with the voice track to go back to! I need to set the video camera up next to the instructor in all my lessons, even if I don’t get the video, having the audio is helpful.
I’d left the night before with instructions to think about what I wanted to work on in the trot, because our first lesson had been all canter, and what is interesting, is that even though I had finally come up with what I wanted to work on in trot, which was bend, changing bend promptly and correctly keeping Bali engaged, JJ did not ask, but the exercises we did in trot for a more structured warm up….well, there was a lot of changing bend in trot, and using exercises to feel when the hind legs are not stepping under.
Leg yielding all the way across the arena, using the entire length, and a 10m circle in the corner followed by a halt, then trot off. Focus on really getting over sideways, staying straight, keeping the outside rein in the 10m circle, prepare for the halt, then trot off without losing engagement. While this is a first level exercise, ride it like a Grand Prix horse riding a first level movement, and it addresses tightness and stiffness in the back, behind the saddle.
Next, leg yield from the corner letter to X, not near X, to X. At X do two 10m circles as a figure 8. so if you started LY left, 10m circle right, 10m circle left, from X to next corner LY left the rest of the way across the arena, 10m circle right in corner, halt, trot off.
Then we moved to canter, after a 10m circle in the corner, instead of halting, prepare to canter.
Come down quarterline, leg yield to wall in canter, at B (or E) 10m circle, half pass in to quarter line, shoulder fore straight to the end, into next corner, half pass to quarter line, 10m circle, leg yield back to corner, then we trotted, did the above trot exercise with the trot figure 8 in the middle of leg yielding across the diagonal to change directions.
Three loop serpentine in trot, with leg yielding into the new direction, to really emphasize the engagement and changing the bend.
This is definitely a more purposeful warm up! It really does help me feel when she is not fully engaged with all the changes in bend and direction.
Next we went into canter work. Collected canter, spiraled into a smaller circle, halt, reinback, canter off. Did a couple of those, then, I was going to bring that reinback feeling into the canter aids to continue developing her super-collected canter for about 3 steps, then back forward. Did this several times, then had a walk break.
One interesting thing JJ said was that when Bali reacts to being asked for more engagement with front leg flinging and some croup up mini bucks, I don’t necessarily want to send her forward, but require her to sit and engage. So by sending her forward, at a faster pace, at this point, I am actually enabling that evasion to have worked. I need to sit down and require her to sit.
After doing the super-collected canter both ways, it was canter walk, half walk pirouette to change directions, canter the other lead, walk, half walk pirouette, then canter.
Another walk break, then it was back to canter walk transitions, on the diagonal, like the night before. I really need to keep thinking about the right hind. it is her weaker side, and wanting to let it trail is why the flying change is so hard.
We kept doing lots of transiitions, and I have lots more strengthening and straightening exercises to work on to get her to the point where clean changes are easier for her.