dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, June 30, 2017

Lesson Recap: Relaxed and Forward

When I ended my last post, Carmen and I were just heading up to the ring to warm up for our lesson. She was a bit 'up' about the blowing trees and such. I just rode her forward and talked to her.

Me: you know Carmen, this wind could be viewed as a 'glass half full' kind of situation. 

Carmen: The glass is totally half empty and we're about to be attacked. I'm blaming you for my death. 

Me: Well sure it's windy. And that is a bit freaky. But on the plus side there are no bugs. Am I right? 

Carmen:  humpf

Me: C'mon you know I'm right. You HATE the bugs and they can't get to us through this wind. 

Carmen: I'm pretty sure it's a hurricane but you have a point. 

Shanea arrived and I reviewed what we've been up to. I confessed to having ridden a lot and that that was probably contributing to her extra energy today. I also said that I was really working on not leaning forward into a forked seat when she got tense but that was still requiring mental effort.

What I love about Shanea is that she was not judgmental about my lack of riding. She recognizes that life can sometimes be hectic. I am grateful for not getting the 'dedication lecture' that I have received from other instructors over the years.

We went to work on the circle and the goal was to get Carmen to stretch over her back and reach for the bit. She wasn't to curl behind the vertical but stretch her nose out. It was interesting to work on that. She's definitely coming- we would get it and then go by a spooky spot and lose it and then get it back. This exercise really helped me to feel when her back was relaxed and when it was tight and how that impacted on her walk rhythm. When it's tight she's dangerously close to a lateral walk. I had ot be sure that my outside leg was not blocking her bending through.

When we switched direction Carmen decided that the spooky spot was REALLY scary and tried to bulge in and away (or it was because she was tired of working or a some combination of that). Shanea had me tackle it by first asking her to go back with my inside leg and if she resisted let her come off the rail and then circle back towards to spot. It wasn't about confronting the scary thing but more like 'okay, if you want to counter bend, sure, lets go with that' That was less of a fight and then we would circle back the original way. This exercise is very similar to one that Royce had me do last year. And it really works. After a a couple times she simply would peek at it and then carry on.

We practiced figure 8's on the 20 m circle and Shanea has me really focus on my bending aids: old bend, straight, new bend and then both legs on to carry forward. Doing that made everything a lot more fluid and more from the legs and seat then from the reins.

We trotted the circle. Here's a brief video of it. So much to improve but at least my hands are not as bad as they used to be:


We took our work around the ring and then worked a bit on some leg yield. The goal was to leg yield toward the scary stuff but stop going sideways when I felt the resistance become too much and thing forward. This worked well and she began to go right into the corner without a murmer. Going the left she was tilting her head and over bending her neck. Which is probably my evil left hand. I had to think 'straight' instead of bend. But that worked well.

We ended there and all three of us were pretty happy. This gave me some real tools to take into our show next week.

21 comments:

  1. i love how Shanea always has so many ideas! sounds like a great ride. tho the video isn't working for me, fyi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. she really has good ideas. And sorry about the video- turns out the default is private. I have fixed it. I hope.

      Delete
  2. Good luck at your show. You guys look good in the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to the show.

      Delete
  3. You guys are looking really good and I really like Shanea, she sounds so positive and calm and encouraging which are certainly things that help me in a coach :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You guys look great! Shanea sounds like a wonderful coach :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I quite like working with her.

      Delete
  5. I love how that arena is up high on a hill and surrounded by nature. It looks so peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a great location for drainage and there's often a breeze to blow away the bugs.

      Delete
  6. You look wonderful! I love how many ideas Shanea has to help you two push forward in your training.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like a great lesson! I really enjoyed the video and Shanea sounds like the kind of coach I get along with -- calm and encouraging, quick to comment when you have a good moment, while giving you tools to work through the hard stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes- I much prefer calm and encouraging. I have been fortunate to find a few like that here.

      Delete
  8. I think you two look very good in the video. Nice to have a trainer who doesn't give the dedication speech too. She seems like a good fit for you and Carmen. Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that she recognizes that I ride as much as I can.

      Delete
  9. Very nice. I too like Shanea she sounds just what you need

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shanea and I work together very well.

      Delete
  10. Awesome, love the video! My plan was to take the summer off from lessons but I'm already starting to miss them. I love that attention to detail you get with a great coach with a good eye. Shanea sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get the taking the summer off too. If I had access to an indoor that might be feasible but not right now.

      Delete
  11. You'd never even know Carmen was eyeballing the scary stuff in your video. Well done. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.