January 15, 2012 1 Comment
Today Derby and I worked for about 40 minutes, still focusing on trot work, and still sticking to the compacted footing on the rail. That limited my ability to do much, so I focused on doing quality work, as simple as it was. This meant good upward transitions that were crisp while keeping the horse on the bit, working in a quality trot, with the horse round and forward, and solid downward transitions, at the letter and maintaining quality. Essentially, I worked on managing the details, which is a crucial aspect of riding a good test.
I also focused on another important detail, which was steadying my lower legs, by keeping the majority of my weight on my thighs – not on the balls of my feet, or on my butt. Until I keep that lower leg steady, I’m not allowing myself to wear spurs – when my leg is loose, I inadvertently spur the horse, and even though I use short, rounded, gentle spurs, the last thing I want to do is deaden the horse to my aids. Even more importantly, I need to have control over my lower leg if I’m going to deliver aids with any sort of precision. I started out in two-point, did some stand-stand-post-post to feel my leg steadying, and then paid attention to where my weight was resting while I posted. I was rewarded with an easy, forward trot from Derby, who is very inclined to peter out as soon as I fall out of my balanced seat.
We get to recommence lessons tomorrow night. I’m glad we’re back to work!