Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I rode!!! YAY!!!

I think the rest has done us both good as Antsje felt very relaxed and supple and I seemed to be able to absorb the trot better the an normal too :-)

During the break I have been watchin my Bettina Drummond 'work in hand' videos and feel re-inspired to do more of this work so before riding I did 10 minutes of basic giravolta type work in hand, really asking for a stretch down and her stepping away from me with her shoulders as well as her hindquarters. We then moved onto leg yielding from the centre line to the long side and then into shoulder in, finishing with her circling around me in a stretch position as a reward. We did this on both reins. Then I did a little backing up and moving forwards and backing up again - really concentrating on her stretching her neck forward and down (FDO) throughout the exercise.
When I got on she immediately felt nice and soft and light and we did some nice large circles in a forward rising trot in a forward out and down (FDO) position, changing reins frequently and working on keeping the same rhythm throughout.

We then did some backing up exercises while mounted and this always really helps to supple her back as when we went back into trot, her back felt much stronger and 'up'.
So using this, I began to collect the trot up slightly and took sitting trot and worked on 10m circle going into a few steps of shoulder in and then back onto the 10m circle down the long side - we did this on both reins. I also did a bit of leg yield work concentrating on her keeping her hindquarters in line more as she does trail them somewhat esp on the right rein. The quality of her self carriage is becoming quite lovely on the left rein, although I do have to be mindful that she is actually reaching for the contact as sometimes she can collect the trot up but just back off the contact slightly, so when she does this I like to go rising and send her a bit more forwards down and out (FDO), before slowing and containing the trot again.

Then I decided I would do some walk to canter transitions today as she was feeling so good! I was so pleased with her efforts - she is still fallin in a bit and balancing on her inside shoulder but with the walk to canter trans she was able to maintain a slower canter and I was able to ask her for a few leg yield type steps on the circle to try and encourage her to get off the inside shoulder a bit more. Today she really rounded up her back and felt distinctly different and more controlled than I have felt her before :-) We did the same on the right rein, doing a couple of walk to collected trot first to get her off the leg and more forward into the contact as when she anticipates canter she can get above the contact to make the transition but then her back is very braced. As she isnt as strong on the right I didnt expect such a clean transition and accepted 1-2 very cadenced trot strides but I was happy with that as she did stay round and took off on the correct leg. The effect was still the same though and she was able to keep the canter much slower and controlled and again I really felt her lift her back. I clicked and treated and got straight off and made a big fuss of her.

I hope to get some more video soon as she does feel improved again since the last lot :-D