Monday, 4 January 2010

more reflections of a Dressage Junkie!

So after watching the video, I have been working hard on a genuine bend on the right rein. I can see that I am using the right rein for the bend and it is disrupting the quality of the trot. So I spent a few days really trying to get Antsje to bend from the inside leg – I went back to two exercises that always help ‘unlock’ her, and that I always seem to forget about lol!!!
One is reinback, for whatever reason this really seems to release her back. When she gets blocked somewhere and I rely on the reins and I do this exercise she seems very ‘stuck’ to start off with, but if I persevere and keep asking her to back up – even the length of the long side – all of a sudden instead of her neck raised she will round up and I can feel the difference in the quality of steps and also a different feel to her back. So I repeat this exercise several times on each rein until she is backing up softly without any resistance.
THEN the next thing I did was a “girivolta” step on a circle with the both reins in my outside hand. First on the left rein I asked her to do leg yield steps with her facing INTO the centre of the circle, then I asked her to change position and face out of the circle. At all times moving away but bent AROUND my inside leg. Then I rinse and repeat on the right rein. Now on the left rein, she is more bendy through the neck but lack engagement, so I keep the neck a little straighter and touch her HQ’s with the whip to ask her to step under more with the inside hind.
On the right rein she steps through better with inside hind but struggles to keep an inside bend through the neck. Now I had a eureka moment as I asked her to move the shoulders over and hey presto, bloody inside bend!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!

The when I returned to a normal circle and asked for trot it was so much lighter off the inside rein and when I felt her leaning I just tapped her inside shoulder with the whip! So I think I may have just figured out how to sort the problem! Well for now anyhow lol!

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