Well that might get me some interesting feedback.
I am not actually claiming to have unlocked any great secrets that will guarantee that you will achieve scores of 10 in dressage competitions.
A better title is probably the key for me and Carmen in training is 'more leg'.
A little geeky aside here: scientists have found that the actual answer to 'life, the universe and everything' really is 42
For me that has been a great revelation brought home to me in my last lesson with Shanea. See when Carmen is nervous and/or thinking of spooking she shortens her frame, gets tight and goes behind the leg. I shorten the rein, get tight (in preparation) and take my leg off.
Funnily enough none of that helps.
What Shanea was trying to get me to understand is that when she sucks back, put my leg on, give her some rein and ride her forward (not curled up like a monkey) to the location I have chosen.
Frankly, this takes a lot of bravery on my part. When I first started putting my leg on she got tighter and faster and was still behind the leg. Carmen is really good at being fast-behind-the-leg.
I felt it work in the lesson and I've been consciously trying to do the same in my rides on her. As soon as I feel her curl up I urge her forward. I'm not always really good at giving her the rein too but I am trying. And it really is working. And as it works I gain confidence that it will work.
I haven't been able to ride much- Ed has been away and between my job and the chores it hasn't left a lot of energy or time to ride. In the past that would be freaking me out because I have this clinic coming up:
|it's getting real! And can we reflect on how perfect my ride times are?|
Today the horses were much more calm. The weather was a perfect fall day: warm sun, crisp air and no bugs. Carmen and I had one of our best sessions since our lesson. She was forward, responsive and willing to listen. Her hesitations in the corner were just that and we rode forward. I was so happy with our work that I ended it after about 45 minutes.
I spent a long time in the barn just giving a nice grooming session and enjoying spending time with her.
So that is my answer to schooling. Have you found something that really makes a key difference in your rides?