Well this morning was fun!! As I hadn’t done any canter work for the last couple of days I thought we’d do some today! We started of walking circles making sure that she was stepping ‘out’ onto the circle at all times and was bending around the inside leg and not off the inside rein. I always start off in this way, on a circle, both reins in my outside hand and a long schooling whip in my inside hand to either tap her HQ’s or Shoulders over as necessary. We are correct from the start then and it seems to form the basis of GOOD work. In the right rein to start with every ¼ turn of the circle I can start to feel her come in on her shoulders and move her neck towards the outside, but if I tap tap tap her shoulders so I feel her pushing back out and filling the outside rein then activate her inside hind we get that ‘leg yieldy’ feeling again and also inside flexion WITHOUT having to use the inside rein!
We moved up into trot and today the right rein felt far more consistent and I really worked on achieving the same work as I did on the walking circles. Then I played a little bit with bringing the trot as slow as I could using my seat and putting her on a 10m circle without her falling back into walk and after half a circle of really slow trot send her forwards again on a bigger circle but trying to keep the activity of the HQ’s generated by the slower trot. She tried really hard with this and I was pleased with her as she was very submissive to my seat and I really only had to use the rein to re-balance her now and again but NOT to stop her tramming though my hands!
So finally we moved onto canter………………and………….she was very forward!! Lol! Although I did walk to canter we didn’t get the same kind of slow controlled canter that we had at the weekend………….BUT………she did not get any quicker and it actually felt quite balanced in the fact that she wasn’t motorbiking round the corners and weighting her inside shoulder. She was reaching for the contact at all times and was round and relaxed through her back, so it was actually quite comfortable to sit! :-D Nothing like when she is rushing and braced through the back and neck.
Onto me! For some reason I just didn’t seem to have much strength today so although I was effective in rising trot when I went sitting I could tell I wasn’t quite there because I was tipping forwards and drawing up my leg gggggrrrrrrr!! I think this may be why the canter was more forward too as I just couldn’t keep her on my seat! The odd moment I DID get my seat right she slowed down! So although she was perhaps a bit more forward than late I do think that I was part of the problem as I couldn’t dictate the tempo so she did instead hahaha!
So not a 'perfect' ride but not awful by any means – in fact I was quite impressed that Antsje was able to balance herself in canter so well in a longer frame than we have been working in. I have seen the time she would have fell on her nose – or at least had her ears up mine hehehehe!!!!