February 28 (my birthday!) found Delphi and me at Belle Terre again for two lessons with Jeff Moore. Some key points follow:
- In shoulder in to renver (such as in 2nd level test 3) the rider's sagital plane is at a 35 degree angle from the wall (we'll say we're in left shoulder in) left, with the horse's head turned a little left. When you turn the horse's head right, keep the rider's sagital plane exactly the same and this is now renver. You must release the left rein when you turn the horse's head right. Make the angle with the sagital plane left for "left shoulder in" then turn the horse's head right and GIVE the left rein, keeping the rider's same left angle with the sagital plane angled 35 degrees left. The rider's guts hold the horse at the left angle while her head is turned right. The rider's sagital plane stays the same in shoulder in and renver. The horse's body angle stays the same in shoulder in and renver.
- In canter, the rider's seat must reach back and each time the thigh and knee should slither back as well. To develop the horse's back as a sensory organ in the canter to trot transition: in canter give the reins until they're floppy and then trot with your body until the horse flows into trot. Also to cause the horse's back to be a sensory organ in the walk (or trot) to canter: give a floppy rein in walk (or trot) then ask the horse to canter. Jeff suggested doing this a couple times in each warm up. Later you can add contact to keep the horse round, soft, light, bent etc rather than using contact as a handbrake. We must re-develop the horse's back as a sensory organ.
- For walk pirouette, put your outside seatbone back and across. That does two things in one: 1) it displaces the rider's weight to the inside and 2) it turns the rider's sagital plane to the outside. The strongest influence for getting the horse's legs to work right in walk pirouette is the sitting with your outside seatbone back and across. Then the inner rein can say "you could turn dear-- you're fine." If you put your right seatbone back and across that turns your entire upper body to the right. The outside hindleg must keep stepping to midline: cause this by putting your outside seatbone back and across.
Delphi's outside (right) hindleg stepping toward midline as a result of me putting my outside (right) seatbone back and across and thus turning my sagital plane right: