The transitions, all of them.
This morning I had another lesson with Linda Z. I’m following her from farm to farm, this lesson was at Compass Rose Farm in Haymarket, VA.
Bali is continuing to develop strength in the more uphill position I am asking for, and this is making a lot of things much easier.
After my initial w/t/c warm-up, which is a bit more open in her throatlatch, but still keeping that uphill outline, I started to ask for a collected walk, asking her to increase flexion and be on the bit, from the leg. Lots and lots of transitions, walk to halt, halt to walk, walk to trot, etc. I did have to stay in collected walk for a few more steps when Linda told me that was IT…I had to close my eyes and feel it, hoping I can recreate it on my own.
I’m improving on not letting all the energy escape, but I am still giving away too much, so the theme today was “Finish that transition”. And that means, I am still asking, with my legs, for forward until she is round, in flexion, on the bit…pick the term. I’ve gotten better mostly in the upward transitions, the downward transitions I lose it more.
So, after a few dozen transitions, we did some shoulder in, down the long-side. When she lost her flexion, I halted, in shoulder-in position, got back the flexion and uphill feel in the halt, then started trotting, staying in shoulder-in position.
We had a few flying changes, and I was back to some late changes from left to right. It was a combination of not keeping her straight, I was losing the shoulder, and also not keeping the uphill connection. We got back to a clean change, but I need to remember to stay on a short line for the left to right change. Right to left is more solid.
I love Bali, she is awesome, we go to new places and she always goes straight to work. I need to get Neuf to that point, and ultimately, figure out if I can get to that place with both of them off the farm.
It was another great lesson, and I will add the extra attention to details at the end of my transitions, to the other work and exercises we’ve been doing (that halt/reinback/canter is a really good one).