Quality begets quality
December 27, 2011 2 Comments
I scampered out to the barn tonight, eager to ride. Derbs seemed to be ready to go too, abandoning his hay and standing by his stall door as I fetched his tack and set out his boots and brushes.
We started as we always do, walking, and he came onto the bit nicely and was moving easily off my seat bones. I moved him into a trot, and rode in two point practicing some of my new skills from last night while he cleared his pipes. Once we were ready to go, I asked him to move out as we were tracking left, and I loved the response I got when I closed my calves on his barrel and increased the elevation of my post. He surged forward at first asking. After a couple laps I asked for the canter and he again responded promptly, but then dropped to a trot before I asked for the downward transition. We reorganized and cantered again. This time I paid attention to my postion, keeping my hips open and swinging. This time Derby held the canter until I asked for the downward transition.
I switched direction, starting again with trot work, and paying attention to bend, as we were now going right, and I’m continuing to have some issues this direction. To try to get through this rough patch, I’m really trying to be as deliberate – and correct – as possible going right. We did some big trot/ little trot, and then I asked Derbs to move out, and got another nice response. However, when I moved into doing some serpentines, my energy started to peter out.
At that point I noticed that Christy was wrapping up her lesson, and her next one was running a bit late. I asked her if she could give me a few minutes coaching, and she said sure, since my lesson last night had been been a bit short.
We started on a 20 meter circle, and Christy started to fix our trot, insisting first on better quality. At this point, we were really lacking energy, and I’ve been struggling with maintaining forward gears when we’re doing something other than blasting down the long side.
She reminded me to hold my outside rein, get busy with my inside leg, and soften the inside rein to encourage bend, while also insisting on more, more, more forward. She had us spiral in and leg yield out. We finally put it together, and then I heard “Sit sit ask.” I did as she she commanded, and while the transition was ugly, at least I got the right lead, and we found some solid energy. We transitioned down, and did it all again.
I was pretty happy with the canter quality – with Christy’s coaching, I was able to really engage Derby’s inside hind.
It was a great ride and the fifteen minutes of
torture coaching was invaluable.