God I MUST blog more regular lol! Where were we……..
Ok, so we have mostly been working on ‘forward into the contact’ and ‘power from behind’
We have definitely upped the anti this last couple of weeks and I think its been hard work for both of us…physically and mentally! For a start off, now we have a more powerful trot I am struggling to sit to it and can tell I am blocking Antsje and I rather suspect I have been for a while and this is why the trot has gone down to MY level and I suppose this has also suited Antsje lol! A bit humbling I can tell you when you realise its always the rider that’s stuffing up the horse lol! So I have been working more in rising trot to really free her up but she is grumbling about it a bit because now she has got to put a bit more effort in!
So I have been really concentrating on her reactions to my leg……….if she doesn’t react to it STRAIGHT AWAY and just lollops into trot, then she gets bought back to walk, ‘animated’ by use of my voice and a couple of taps with the schooling whip. We then do a succession of transitions until I can feel her really ‘waiting for it’ and once we are “there” a lot of things fall into place because she is ON THE AIDS! We had both got a bit DULL I think and Antsje was taking her own good time before she reacted to my requests and I was merrily accepting this!
We have had another lesson since the dressage tests too and the instructor had a little sit on Antsje too! It was good to watch her and I got good feedback on Antsje’s way of going. In the lesson it was just re-affirming Antsje being forwards into the contact, making sure she was reactive to the aids and we also played about with collecting and lengthening the stride in trot….done on a circle. We also did work on serpentines really asking Antsje for more suppleness through the changes of rein. I was very pleased at the end of the lesson ….. Antsje really does have a good attitude to her work which is more than half the battle (bad choice of word! But that’s the saying lol!)
We have also been working more on schooling the canter too and it is becoming just more ‘everyday’ rather than Ooooo shall we do ‘CANTER’!! lol!
The last couple of session’s I’ve noticed that although the contact is now very consistent and she still needs to be taking more weight behind and be getting that feeling of her rising up through the wither. We are getting moments of this and it feels bloody brilliant! But its time to move towards this being the normality rather than flashing glimpses.
So things I’ve been doing to help are:
Reinback to trot
Walk to canter
Shoulder in and Counter shoulder in
Leg yield to canter
Travers in walk and attempts (!!) in trot lol!
Half pass in walk and attempts (!!) in trot!
Although the travers / half pass in trot is pretty rubbish it is still having an effect of collecting her and bringing her together more, so I think its worth persevering with!
Fridays are her day off and she gets an all over massage with an electric massager which she LOVES. She worked hard last week so she had 2 days off with massages both days and felt loads ‘boingier’ on Saturday! And we also did a bit of jumping at the weekend for a change and some fun!
So its been all good! Oh, and for improving your seat, work without stirrups in SHORTS lol! Your skin sticks to the saddle and you gotta keep your butt in the saddle or it hurts lol!