Friday, November 13, 2009

Canter Work on Center Line and Renver

Cantering straight down the center line, circling 10 meters off of it, cantering straight down center line, simple change of lead at x on the center line, cantering straight ahead down center line in the new lead, circling 10 meters off center line in the new direction then cantering straight ahead down center line (did I mention it should be straight?) sounds a lot easier than it actually is! Karen (of Center Line Training-heh) had us schooling just that during our lesson today. Remember to keep the horse straight by using both legs at the girth. For the canter depart from the halt or walk, keep your outside leg at the girth (AVOID putting your outside leg back which instantly causes crookedness) and use your inside seat bone to ask for the canter depart. If the inside seat bone does not illicit a prompt, crisp canter depart, you can "stomp" into the inside stirrup, and remember to keep your outside leg neutral! The key for nice 10 meter circles from the center line is (of course) GIVE THE INSIDE REIN and use the outside rein to bring the horse around a round, geometrically correct circle. Then straighten on the center line, keeping your eyes up beyond C and both legs at the girth.
We also schooled shoulder in to renver transitions. Establish the shoulder in, then prepare for the transition to renver by putting your leg that is to the interior of the arena back (your new "outside" leg) and your leg that is to the outside of the arena (your new "inside" leg) forward, ask the horse to change it's bend with your new "inside" leg but the haunches remain on the track to the outside of the arena and the forehand stays to the inside of the arena. To help establish the bend, "raise" the (new) inside rein and support the horse with the outside rein to allow the change of bend. Be sure to straighten at the end of the renver by moving the shoulders back "out," but not in a shoulder in, just in a true straight line along the track.
Phew! Fun lesson today and ironically Delphi does renver better than shoulder in. And her center line canter work did improve in straightness.