Here are my notes from yesterday's lesson:
Charisma avoids the difficulty of loading the inside hind in transitions by straightening her body and losing the line of the circle. Practice all transitions with the feeling of travers, and use the outside aids actively, to keep the bend. By keeping the bend in the transitions, this increases the strength of the inside hind, developing power, which results in greater cadence. Also, if she is not allowed to straighten during the transition, she cannot use her neck against me to press up. The horse's neck muscles are very strong when they are straight. Keep her bent. Her neck is beautiful when it's correctly working for me, so seek to make her look as lovely as possible, by riding very precisely. Make that judge WANT to ride my horse.
- When all is well in the trot work and I want to look for more cadence & expression, I need to engage my outside aids again, connect that inside hind with a bouncing lower leg to that outside rein, and ask for more honest work behind. The difference between Charisma’s trot when she is just going, and when I engage her hind legs, is night & day, from a very plain but correct trot, to a brilliant, bouncy trot that really says “we belong in the medium levels”. This will build power & expression over time. Seek to coax every ounce of movement out of her at every step.
- In the canter work, don’t ever ride in auto-pilot. Yes there must be self carriage, but in order to coax the best three beat collected canter out of Charisma, I must keep my lower legs very loose, and literally ask for more jump every single stride. Use the seat & weight to keep her straight, and let the bouncing lower legs encourage her to jump uphill at every step. Improve the activity with every stride.
- Continue to watch turns, lower and open the outside rein even, to keep her bending through turns and not escaping behind by straightening.
- Keep the hands up over the wither, out in front, light and active, so as not to allow her to lean down, or worse, that I don’t pull her down. If I need to lower my hands, lower my outside hand, but keep my inside hand higher, so she can’t lean in on it.
My next post will be about the CDI in Edmonton! Stay tuned!