Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guest Blogger

My barn buddy and fellow adult amateur has agreed to be a guest blogger today. Also working toward her USDF medals, my friend's current projects include rehabbing from injury her eventer/foxhunter/dressage partner and campaigning her current schoolmaster at second, third, and fourth levels.

She shared this breakthrough:
"I had a great lesson on my schoolmaster this morning, which helped my trainer and me to decide that I will send in my entry for the upcoming show.

We did a great exercise for putting jump in the canter: canter half-pass to quarter-line to halt. Then, from halt, strike off into canter IN half-pass to X, etc. across the diagonal. It took some doing (and incidentally got some volunteered trot half-passes to die for; unfortunately for my schoolmaster, it wasn't what I was asking for), some halt to rein-back, but finally did it. Then ended with canter full-pirouettes in each direction that were really uphill and relaxed.

The breakthrough came while riding my injured horse. She was her normal fussy self at the beginning--didn't want to go on the bit, didn't want to walk, didn't want to do haunches-in at the walk, tail-swishing, waaa waaa waaa. I had been determined to keep my hands still (Madame De Farge casts a very long shadow, my dear), and I was getting frustrated at her shenanigans. Suddenly, I thought, 'Just ride her the way you ride the schoolmaster.' So: my half-halts became STRONG, but very clear. I got out of the reins quickly. I asked once, then demanded. And, guess what? She was delightful. hahahhaahhahaha.

Just ride the frickin' horse!! What a concept. No, my injured horse and I did no canter pirouettes. But we did a 20-m stretchy circle (at the rising trot, a first) in both directions, and a trot serpentine with real bend. On the bit. Calm. I don't know why I'm so dumb-founded, but thought I ought to share. I'll bet if you ride Delphi the way you're riding Wizard/Gryphon/Fee, etc., you'll have a similar breakthrough."

Thank you my friend for that. Point taken!

It takes a village. These folks are a few of the villagers.


Anonymous said...

Photoshop is such a wonderful tool!