Today I had another lesson with Linda. My third this spring! And since the schedule for Inga has been when I’m at work, this is good, it keeps me making some forward progress.
I didn’t write up my last lesson, but Linda had mentioned that the higher, out in front, hand carriage was not going to be permanent, she’d be bringing me back to more bent elbows, but it was a necessary phase for me to get Bali really forward and moving into the contact while forward.
Today, after several weeks of practicing that, she had me bringing my outside rein a bit lower, to shape that energy more effectively.
Bali is still built a bit level and tends to move downhill, but she is getting stronger in her topline to maintain the uphill carriage longer. She was staying nicely forward after a few laps of the arena in a very forward canter. It helped loosen her up.
I am still struggling with my tendency to bring my inside hand back to me when I post, and while I worked on it some, I cheated and switched to sitting trot for the rest of the ride, so did not get corrected for that as often. I don’t do it in sitting trot.
Bali was very quick off my leg for lateral movements today. I had taken my spurs off my dressage boots for the past 3 weeks, and put them back on today, and I think that kept her very fresh off my leg. After getting her forward, we came down center line to leg yield a few times, then came down center line, small circle in direction we came from, leg yield a few steps then switching to half pass. Making sure to keep plenty of inside leg and rein in the half pass. Since Bali is so responsive to sideways, on her…right now…I need to use more inside leg to keep the bend in the half pass.
The other exercise we did a fair amount of today was canter/halt/rein back/canter. I was not to rush, keep her uphill during the transition to halt, do NOT use hands, bend my knees slightly to ask for rein back, bring my feet forward again to stop the rein back, then canter depart, without leaning forward.
We added a few canter/trot transitions in the mix, with me keeping the outside rein to maintain her outline and uphill balance, inside leg for the bend and then working on going directly into a nice, foward trot.
Really good lesson, and despite my feelings that I was floundering a few times in my own rides since the last lesson, Linda said Bali was looking good and her topline is looking better.
I really need to get motivated and organized to enter a few shows this year with Bali.
For a cool video that help explains why it is so hard to make changes in physical skills, particularly in adults, check out this video from Destin, an engineer who has a youtube channel, Smarter Every Day…a backwards bike.
I am really enjoying his videos on his youtube channel, but this one is really applicable to those of us who learned to ride horses one way, then working to learn new ways.