Another morning ride! Because I don’t have as much time in the mornings it does have the benefit of focusing my mind and not getting greedy and overdoing things when they feel good!!
I didn’t do so much work laterally today other than setting the trot up with the travers steps which work very nicely. I did lots of changes of reins, transitions and serpentines and concentrated on keeping us both in a nice balance throughout all the exercises. I am thrilled with Antsjes attitude to work lately – she tries so hard!
The lateral work in trot will really help the canter work as she has to balance herself while stepping under more with her hindleg. So today I thought id do a bit of canter work for a change! After speaking to Mike about the canter he said think about making the circle smaller by turning her with the outside rein and pushing her back out with the inside leg so I really get that inside leg to outside hand connection. So today I tried a couple of more like 10-15m canter circles and tickled her with the schooling whip to encourage the hind leg activity and lo and behold we got some really lovely lift to the canter with her STILL reaching into the contact!! WOOOHOOOO!!! And this was on the RIGHT rein!!! I changed rein and asked for the same exercise and she did such a beautiful ‘step’ up into canter and some very nice slow yet lifted canter strides that I just clicked my tongue and jumped off and made such a big fuss of her and fed her her favourite extra strong mints hahahaha!!!!
A similar combination of work to the last sessions
Travers steps to set up the trot. Counter canter down the long side, working up to maintaining position up the centre line. She was working so nicely that I got brave and asked for a few steps of travers in trot!!! And bless her she did try!! She moved her quarters out but struggled to maintain the inside bend for more than a few steps and it ended up more like a leg yield hahaha!! BUT! I was very pleased with the effort as I know she would find this hard.
We did a little bit of canter work but she was a little gung-ho and when coming back to down to trot we lost the nice stable connection in the contact with her being very busy in the mouth and not seeking the contact but bobbing her head in and out of my hands. I was just starting to feel that bubble of frustration on why she was being so unsettled that I just suddenly realised that she was ‘setting sail’ and out of balance completely!! So I put her on a smaller circle and just concentrated on working on the ‘neutral’ trot and hey presto!! Connection restored!! I clicked, treated and left it at that.
Hacking for the weekend – she has worked hard this last few weeks!