|Photos from last week to supplement the word vomit|
Thursday 14 August 2014
New Trainer First Lesson
It was so cute, before the lesson I had to go to the field to bring Nancy in. I hadn't seen the girls since Saturday between pouring rain & my feeling poorly I hadn't made it to the field.
Kika was so cute, she came cantering down to me from the top of the field - she has never been that excited to see me! Talk about knowing how to get on my good side - Legend! So of course she got a cookie...perhaps why she came running LOL
Anyways as I brought Nancy in the heavens opened and drowned the pair of us. Thankfully I had given myself an hour to get her ready & be in the saddle to warm up before the lesson. I put a running braid in her mane so that I wouldn't get my hands caught. She still wasn't completely dry when I tacked her up, but i couldn't wait any longer if i was to warm her up. Despite not feeling great this week, today included, but I didn't want to reschedule the lesson as I've waited 3 weeks for it and will be away in Ireland for a long weekend next week, so he'll or high water i was having this lesson today. ☺
Nancy warmed up really well, we walked around on a long rein & trotted on a long rein for a good 10 minutes before collecting her up circles, serpentines and figures of eights. When the new trainer, S, came in and hooked me up with earphones & mic - super high tech! She asked what I was having trouble with, I said right rein circles & canter departs.
She suggested we start on our better rein with trot work. Unusual to me as i would usually start on our bad side, but she must have wanted to see what our good looked like before tackling the bad. She had me carry my hands differently and then brought as back to walk. N also struggles with her walk, S had me lengthen my reins and push her forward to lengthen her stride in walk. She tends to block up, shorten her stride, roll in on herself and shift her butt to the inside as she tries to squirrel out of striding out. N really sucks back in the walk.
We worked on trotting with circles and serpentines, N can sneak looks to the outside so S had me really work on keeping her attention to the inside by keeping my attention to the inside of the circle as if someone was standing in the center talking to me or lunging us. We did the same with canter transitions before changing rein.
We stayed on a circle on our bad rein, really working on keeping her attention and mine to the inside as we are both very bad on the right rein. Praising her when she softened and transitioning between walk and trot. She was much better than we normally managed. The handy reminders of long leg & hand positioning really helped us stay on track. We worked up to canter transitions and got them right each time first time. However we broke back to trot when nature called and we missed our correct lead strike off on that asking, but regrouped S had me make sure Nancy & I were both looking inside the circle to increase our canter success.
Takeaways & things to work on:
- keep my focus to the inside
- bend my elbows
- long leg (my heels have a mind of their own)
- watch my shoulders
- work on the walk, carry a stick to help coax her forward if necessary
- help her maintain inside bend by keeping my attention to the inside of the circles
I'm sure there was much more, but that's what I remember from our first lesson. Fingers crossed we can schedule another lesson the week after next & I can practice our takeaways between now & then. S didn't seem too offended by my riding, here's hoping she can help us improve. She did say that N is on the right track. We've to be careful with her & really work on the walk as she has a good one when she strides out, coaxing her to do so is my job. I hope I'm up to the task.