But she's gonna have a go anyway hahahaha!!!
I think Antsje is testing out my commitment to the 'power trot'........ Two stubborn mares together = KABOOOM!!
Well after a days rest we had an absolutely AMAZING session last night!! I did some poll flexions before I go ton last night and she was quite resistant to start but after a few she started to soften up and relax her jaw. I also did a little girivolta work in hand just a couple of circles either way, but with my hand on top of her poll to encourage relaxation and flexion.
So I got on and worked on the lengthening the neck / bringing together / lengthening idea on a circle to really try and get her thinking of working forwards into my hand. I think I really need to work more on this ‘connection’ as I think we have just got into a little comfort zone with both of us coasting a bit!
Well she seemed to get the hang of it better and we did some trot in the same manner, working FDO and then bringing up and then FDO – trying to get it really fluid and Antsje not backing off the contact or my leg!
I also rode without stirrups for a while so I could stretch my hips and deepen my seat too.
We did a few walk / trot transition from this deeper connection and although the swing was quite nice it was a very sedate lumber into trot! So next time I gave her a flick with the whip and made a bit of a noise at her and she LEAPT into trot lol! All or bloody nothing with this mare lol! BUT! I clicked and treated the effort because I did want an immediate response like that – perhaps not quite so leapy though lol! So Next trans we did was blimmin fantastic – surged up into trot and you could just feel the lift through her shoulders. And the trot, god it felt like we were flying, just so much power and lift in it, I was just grinning like a fool! And we had this for the rest of the evening – consistent contact and powering from behind, into my hand and a lift from the wither………very addictive ;o)
We went on to do a bit of canter, and she does have a tendancy to fall in on the circle. My sister was watching and she suggested I rode or rather ‘thought’ SQUARE rather than circle and I have to say it worked so much better to think of riding her straight.
The downside in canter is that I feel like a bag of shite! I tense up, draw my leg up, go stiff and tighten my arse and therefore cannot sit nice and deep in the saddle. Part of it is because im trying so hard to stop her falling in on her shoulder that I feel like my body is contorting in an attempt to keep her straight. I think I need to do some canter work without stirrups to try and get out the habit of drawing my leg up and loosing my seat.
Other than that though I was very very pleased with her efforts and I can definitely feel the difference in the quality of trot and what we need to be aiming for from now on.
This mornings session was another matter completely! She was back to being resistant again and wouldn’t come forwards off the leg and seek the contact down. Grrrrrrrrrr! She would either rush off all hollow, of stretch down in the lumbering granny trot we had got ourselves stuck into. So after asking nicely in as many ways as I could think of, I ended up loosing a bit of patience to be honest and was rather firm with her that she got off the leg, and that she gave to the contact. Probably not very classical and I really don’t like falling out with her, BUT, it worked and when she gave I softened immediately and from then on we had some nice work and a nice ‘connection’ Is five minutes of ‘bossy riding’ better than half an hour of half hearted nagging? My gut feeling is is that she is just finding this work harder (I know I am!!) and she is seeing how committed I am to it!! Because when we have ‘got it’ I am not having to hold her ‘in a frame’ she is just ‘there’. Thoughts???………….
Well anyhow, I got some nice trot work and transitions and I left it there and gave her plenty of praise for the GOOD stuff.
I will just go out on a nice relaxing hack tomorrow so she can have a stretch and rest before our lesson again on Sunday. I know My hips ache today and we are both putting in more effort this last few sessions so I am mindful that although I want to be firm that this is the way its gonna be – I also want to be fair and realise she will need some recovery after these harder sessions.
So………..another mixed bag! Lol!