Finally forward (update + video)
August 23, 2012 1 Comment
Today temperatures got back up into the 90’s, and Derbs was sweating just standing in his stall. Because he’s often at his laziest on hot days, I was curious to see if last night’s focus on ‘forward’ would translate to tonight’s ride.
It did! Right off the back Derby stepped into a good trot, and he didn’t require any sharp reminders with the whip. I didn’t have to do any Pony Club booting either. We had a really nice ride. I was thrilled. Importantly, I think I can perserve these forward gears.
I was motivated by watching some recent videos and not being happy with how we looked. When Derby is behind my leg, I have to work hard, which is totally exhausting, and it’s terrible for my posture. When I’m trying to push him forward, I essentially push with my whole body – tipping forward and closing my hips, which puts the brakes on Derby’s forward gears.
The quality of his gaits improved across the board. We have a legtimate, swingy medium walk, a very nice free walk stretching into contact, and a rhythmic canter. When he’s behind my leg, his canter gets lateral. It’s awful. Tonight, it was pretty nice.
I’m hoping to work another lesson in tomorrow. I want to keep this momentum going.
Here’s a clip of our canter work. I was thinking about last night’s ride again this morning, and forgot to add one more observation – that a more forward horse is in steadier contact. Anyway, in this clip I’m starting to influence the canter here and there, getting him to lengthen stride and round (albeit sporadically, but it’s a start!)