So to bring us up to date, before I jet off to Cuba for 2 weeks (typical hahaha) I am really pleased with how Antsje (and myself!) are progressing of late and Im riding most days although I don’t school everyday!!
I am continuing working on increasing engagement and self carriage as Antsje is very sneaky and you think she is going round really lovely but then you go to change rein / do a transition and it all comes undone because she is not actually carrying herself properly!! And in all honesty IM not either lol! One thing im learning is that if *I* am in self-carriage and riding with ‘tone’ and am completely THERE in the moment, so is Antsje is she goes like a dream! If im coasting either mentally or physically then you can bet your bottom dollar that Antsje is too! And why the hell not haha! Fair’s Fair!
So we are doing a lot of warming up with serpentines / figure of eights to really get her bending through the body on both reins – first in walk and then in trot. If I feel she is hanging (more often on the right rein) then I always go back to the one handed girivolta work until I have a nice inside flexion without the use of the inside rein! Lol! Its ALL about the HindQuarters working correctly and once I have THAT then the inside bend magically happens lol!
Then we are doing a lot of work on collecting the walk and trot, again by really activating the HQ’s but not allowing her to lean / tram through my hands and seat. She is getting the idea really well now, and I am also developing my feel so much more and can therefore make quicker adjustments to help keep Antsje balanced. We do exercises such a reinback, reinback to walk / trot transitions, transitions in general and lateral work especially paying attention to the rhythm of the steps so we get a nice ‘flow’ rather than sticky steps. I am also continuing to play with the half steps which really help to re-balance her and set up some lovely trot transitions.
And to help me, my friend has been lunging me without my stirrups and reins in walk, trot and canter to really improve my seat and balance – although I think he enjoys it way too much! Hahaha!
I really think she has improved since the clinic videos and if I have time at the weekend id like to get a bit more video of us as another benchmark in our journey!