Another good lesson today with Linda. I broke out the double bridle, which I hadn’t used in nearly two years. I bought a different curb bit to try out, a curb with a shorter shank, but the mouthpiece was thicker and it is heavy, and I was working on some things in the snaffle all this time, so I hadn’t tried it.
I opened the cabinet where I keep the double and the lunging cavesson and with all the rain and humidity we’ve been having, it had sprouted mold, eeeew! But, that had me pulling it out and decided to ride with it. That involved finding a curb chain, adjusting, cleaning the bridle, then remembering how to bridle the horse with two bits!
Then I had to get used to two sets of reins again….I had two rides in the double before my lesson, but brought both my snaffle bridle and the original, $40 Carol Lavell curb I’d purchased at Dover 4 yrs ago…just in case Linda thought we should change.
Linda liked the bit, she did adjust my noseband up one hole. She thought it was a bit low given the snaffle & curb rein. But, she liked how nicely Bali warmed up, on the bit. I don’t even need to use the curb rein, it is mostly looped.
We did some walk turn on the haunches (or pirouettes when done well enough). Since I’d worked on these some with Inga a few weeks ago, this was good to work on. Linda’s wording was a bit different, focus on the bend, no crossing the outside hand over the wither, move shoulders using outside leg, add inside leg, in a sequence. No pulling, and this seemed to help keep more activity in the walk. Incrementally this is improving. We did these turns, followed by a canter transition, back to a walk, several times.
Then it was a lot of canter, walk, canter, walk, changing leads most of the time, unless we were crooked on the canter depart. After all that, we did some changes, some had a bit too much emphasis on the flying part, but as I was better with my upper body and hips they became quieter.
We spent a lot of time in right lead canter, tap on the shoulder, tap on the shoulder….then tap on the top of the butt, back to the shoulder, back to the butt, keep my hands down, lift the right hand, keep them down, tap on the shoulder, the butt, the shoulder, and Bali’s canter started to get a lot more airtime.
We finished on some trot, focusing on keeping uphill, quality right out of the canter. Bali did drop her shoulders some. There was likely some fatigue coming into play, but even when she isn’t tired, that is her go-to place.
Overall, great lesson, and I was glad that the weather was cooler today, we were both working hard today!