Another early morning ride this morning! But before I rode i decided to do the little poll flexions and again she wasnt quite as free as normal.....
I worked on her until I got a few definate flips of the crest then we went out to the school. No time for in-hand work this morning and whether it was that or the cold mornings or the floodlights we didnt get the same kind of work today.
It wasnt bad - not bad at all, but now Ive felt that 'super trot' its hard to not get greedy for it! which of course is counter-productive and its inevitable im not going to achieve that kind of excellence every ride, particularly in these very early stages. So I was quite proud of myself that I didnt get all angst and frustrated and tunnel visioned about it all as I once would have done. And as part of me STILL wanted too lol! But I was quite pragmatic about it and took a detached 'trainer' approach and thought how I could best work towards more engagement.
We did some travers / shoulder in on a circle and we did some rein back before trot transitions to try and encourage the flexing of the hind - and it did work to a certain extent as we had moments of some very nice trot work but it was just inconsistent today as she was rushing slightly. What was nice was although the right rein wasnt as spectacular as yesterday, it was still GOOD in relation to the last few weeks and the Left rein WAS better than yesterday! So all in all it was a positive session.
I did forget to say that at the weekend I put my stirrups down a hole as I feel I get a better response from a longer leg when I warm up without stirrups. I had them a bit shorter to help with MY balance but I think Ive improved enough to let them down a hole :-) Now Ive definately felt a stretch in my hops and thighs but didnt feel any less balanced over the weekend :-)
Today, towards the end I felt my back aching a bit nothing awful but enough to suddenly become aware of it. I checked out my position and I think because she was rushing a bit today I was starting to fall into the trap of tipping forwards and bracing my legs Ggggggggrrrrrrrr!!!! So immediately I thought about rising 'on my knees' and stretching my midsection 'up' and the trot improved instantly! DOH! I MUST be more mindful of my position! Also after mulling the ride over on the way to work I think instead of concentrating on re-creating that 'SUPER TROT' Iwould have been better served tohave concentrated on transitions, particularly the downward ones to get her back 'with me' rather than letting her get a bit onward bound from too longer bursts of trot. DAMN! I need to be a bit quicker on the uptake - it would make it a whole lot easier hahaha!!!
So at the finish I decided to let her have a bit of a canter - i didnt have time to 'school' the canter as such, but I just let her canter a 20m circle, concentrating on her establishing a consistent rhythm, a nice stretch over the back and as much as possible to have that stepping out on the circle feeling that I doin trot. Obviously this is harder as she isnt as balanced in canter - but I do think that if she can establish a nice relaxed canter that is supple through the back and reaching into the hand it will be the foundation for improving the canter in the future.