What a great day! I have so missed having a lesson but I was also relieved that Mike didn’t pick up on anything horrendously wrong while I have been left to my own devices lol!!
So after working in, Mike got me thinking about engaging the HQ’s more by doing some lateral work. First ShoulerIN in walk down the long side – I AM working at too steep an angle and once corrected the lateral work flowed much better **grins** We then did some shoulder In down the centre line which was a good test for both horse and rider to maintain position.
We then did a small circle and did a few steps of travers up the long side which really is the exercise to get Antsje in a more collected frame. After a few steps of travers Mike asked me to step up into a sitting trot and we worked on getting and maintaining what Mike called a ‘neutral’ trot. Which means neither ‘setting sail’ (antsje's speciality) or being too collected but concentrating on everything being in balance, the hindlegs really stepping through and for her to be soft in my hand and held with the seat. It was bloody hard work I tell you for my poor abs working in sitting trot for most of the lesson lol!!! At times it felt awful, but at times it felt just AMAZING!!!
We then started to do some lateral work in trot – I was struggling a bit with SI, so Mike got me to work in counter shoulder in, using the fence to give both me and antsje some guidance. This worked REALLY well, and once we both got the feel of it, we turned up the centre line in counter shoulder in and was able to keep position!! So naturally we then progressed to Shoulder in down the long side and it worked MUCH better!! We got some really excellent walk / trot / walk transitions too as Antsje was really off my leg and listening and trying so hard bless her **smile**
So what did I take away from this lesson?
*Travers is the best exercise for Antsje to get her to step under and shorten her frame
*Go into sitting trot and hold the neutral trot with the seat keeping the hands soft but supportive.
*Think of my lower leg being a little further forwards and sitting on my seatbones in sitting trot as I have a tendancy to collapse forwards with my lower leg sliding too far back. Grrrrrrr!!!! *NOT a chair seat though! It’s the thought more than anything to help me sit UP!
*Work in counter shoulder in first as the fence helps maintain the position until we both get the ‘feel’
*Keep the counter shoulder in position around the turn of the short side and up the centre line to really get Antsje to step under
*Rise down the long side in a slightly bigger trot, sit and collect the trot around the short side – rinse and repeat!!
Thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed the lesson although I was bloody knackered at the finish!! I need to do more work in the sitting trot and build up my ABS!!!