I can hardly believe it! ANOTHER good ride! and in the outdoor arena too!!
So what did we do? TO start off with I concentrated on the inside leg / outside hand connection while in walk by doing lots of circles and leg yielding steps. Then we moved up into trot, and right from the word go Im finding it much easier to keep the connection in rising trot. One throwaway comment Jane made was to be brave with your rise and 'go to the top of the rise' which must have lodged itself in my brain somehow and it has proved to be really useful.
Trouble is, I have been so focussed on not getting flung about, I havent really been following through to the top of the rise as Im so paranoid about getting my arse back into that saddle! Trouble is, ive been coming back into the saddle at the WRONG TIME! Something ive really noticed about getting the rise 'right' is that when I sit, her back comes up to recieve my seat, rather than her back being hollow when I come down too early. Its very subtle, and its by no means standing upright in my stirrups! its just more a matter of letting my hips follow the movement to its full extent which I wasnt allowing to happen before.
I have also taken up running again - something I havent done since a child! and I do feel that this is also really helping my fitness, particularly my aerobic fitness and being able to keep strong in my abs rather than feeling puffed out and going floppy! I will take this opportunity for a shameless plug as Im running to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support - so if anyone fancies donating a pound or two you can find out more about it in my new blog Reason2Run ;-)
So after some nice circles in trot being VERY concious of what my inside hand is doing, we did some work along the long side and changes of rein - as this normally highlights our inconsistencies in balance! And actually we did pretty well! When we got down to the far end of the school, Antsje became a little distracted by new 'surroundings' but I was pleased how quickly I managed to regulate the trot again without 'fiddling' by really concentrating on my rising and 'refocussing' her attention back to the matter in hand lol!
So feeling quite brave, I asked for canter on the left rein and got quite a nice transition, we did a complete circle and then came back into trot again and actually the trot was NICE as sometimes it can be a bit gung ho after a canter! So then I asked for right canter but out of walk - we got CORRECT LEAD!!! Again we did a complete circle and although it was a bit motorbikey I was just pleased with the correct strike off. Again we came back to a sensible trot.
To finish I asked for a serpentine down the school as sometimes after canter she can get over excited and 'anticipating' and i just want to really get her tuned into my seat even in exctitable situations ;-) And yes! we finished with some nice relaxed trot so I jumped off and just led her round to cool off.
What I did notice was straight away she was better into the outside rein on the left - she is SUCH a quick learner as this is what we finished on, on monday Morning. Its just ME that has to be more observant of my naughty habits lol!
We ended with some poll release work in the stable which i think she is now finding quite relaxing :-)