Phew!! Time flies when your having fun!!
We have had some really nice moments this last week or so and Antsje is becoming far more attentive to me and my seat is definately getting better ;-) No where near perfect mind!!! BUT at times, when we are together, I am most definately being able to influence her with my seat which has got to be good!!!
So, we have been pretty much been working on the same issues as before, both in hand and ridden - and that is Antsje 'being with me'. I am testing this by the use of continual transitions, changes within the gait and school figures. It is very interesting that when you have to perform movements at required times such as in a dressage test, just how much you realise whether you are together or not ;-) And it is hard work physically and mentally for both horse and rider to remain in balance with each other for continued periods of time!!
I am concentrating very much on the quality of downward transitions, and it seems that if I am constantly mindful of if I could perform a crisp balanced downward transition at any point in time, THIS is what being in balance is all about!! Im lucky in that I dont have a problem with forwards per se, other than Antsje using it as an evasion!! *****rolls eyes**** So I can focus on Antsje 'waiting' for me and using reinback and downward transitions to prevent her from 'tramming' without having to worry about loosing impulsion ;-)
I have also been working on the canter!! When I am compeltely and utterly focussed I can get the most beautiful upward transition on the left rein, and not too bad a downward one although I have to be very strong in my core to do this.
I have made a mini breakthrough on the right rein canter inthat I can tell now if we have come up on the wrong lead, and I am getting better at getting her to strike off on the correct lead if not first time, on the second attempt. The right canter is still quite unbalanced, but it is coming, slowly but surely :-)
At the end of the sessions I have been asking her to stretch down into the rein in trot to really get her back swinging and loose after working in a more contained manner. Iam pleased with this as she is begining to be able to do this without loosing her balance and getting faster and plunging onto her forehand. I am also becoming stronger with my position and can influence the trot with my rising better so it means I rely less on the rein which keeps her stretching forwards :-)
I have no idea how things will go tommorrow in our dressage test! we are doing Prelim 18 and if we both can get into the zone and dont become distracted by the whole show atmosphere then I think we have the potential of producing a nice test! Of course, if we both get into 'rabbit in the headlights' mode, then we are doomed hahahaha!!!!
Half of me is crapping myself as I know we are far from perfect!! The other half is relishing the challenge of 'test riding' as it is a whole discapline in itself! Being able to get into that mental state where everything else becomes purely background noise and you are completely in the moment with each and every stride is the most FANTASTIC feeling EVER!!!
So wish us luck!! And as a bonus, Amy is coming to video me!! YAY!