Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lightness in Self Carriage

The theme for Delphi's and my Dressage immersion program seems to be developing into "self carriage." Today Karen said she wants to get me "addicted" to riding the horse in such a way that she is light, submissive, and in self carriage. I'm on my way to becoming a confirmed junky. Today again we worked on lifting the horse's neck, yielding (giving the rein), then lightening; this series of actions makes the horse's quarters jump underneath her body and the horse's poll is the highest point with a soft jaw. Ahhhh, lightness in self carriage. I need to work on giving the rein; I have to give the rein after every two seconds of firmness. I'm not allowed to dwell on one rein or the other, nor am I allowed to "saw" the rein-- rather make a deliberate correction with the rein to bend the horse, then yield, then correct as needed, then yield: repeat, repeat, repeat-- until the horse is light and in self carriage. In the up canter trans I must raise the neck, engage the hindquarter, and GIVE THE INSIDE REIN into the trans. Result: beautifully soft and uphill canter transes.