Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Lesson and trimmer visit

Trimmer visit last night. Feet looking messy. Landings much the same. Left foot deviation has broken off, but he is fine with where it has broken off. Right foot deviation is starting to split, and thinks will break off in next few weeks. Asked if left foot deviation breaking off changed movement. I wasn’t sure, but feel his movement is generally improving. Said he is building up a bit more back muscle. Hind feet generally good. Summary would be is a time of change, but seems to be change for the better. Discussed the tension viewed in his neck and working on this through pessoa work, body work, schooling etc.

Then had second 30 minute lesson. Started off a bit unlevel left fore on lunge. Seemed to warm up out of it. Better after canter, and not seen any issues ridden. Think slight stiffness.

Ridden felt like another progressive improvement from last two ridden schooling sessions. Interestingly, tipping forward and dropping my hands was less of a problem, and instructor said Remi was more up and off his shoulders last night compared to the video on Saturday. So fingers crossed we are improving. :-) I have been riding in the school very occasionally since he came back from Rockley. But this is only the 5th time I have actually picked him up in the school and started to ask him to work.

Lesson notes:
  • Longer neck. Bend to inside on right, can exaggerate in short term.
  • Getting right bend (or right flexion rather than neck bend). He likes to push me off to the right, and to go very quarters in to the right, with left flexion on the right rein. This comes back if I am not constantly correcting it and fixing it. And comes back in each change of pace.
  • Need to sit to left, stay straight, and lengthen right leg and sit on right seatbone. Don’t tip off right seatbone and scrunch right leg when using it to stop falling right.
  • Can open inside hand to encourage right bend but don’t drop it. 
  • Left rein. Sit over to left, stay straight on both seat bones, don’t move side to side when rising, don’t set a twist up through my body, stay straight. Don’t over bend neck to left, but need left flexion.
  • Exercise like a fan. Like a moving turn of the forehand. Looking for shoulder in, quarters out of a small circle in walk. Keeping inside bend. Hard!
  • Right canter circle like 50 pence piece. Keep bringing shoulders in / quarters out to stop him being quarters in.
  • Need to work on shoulder fore feel with right flexion. Or quarters out. Anything to not be quarters in right, bend left.
  • Don’t let him rush. Make sure he trots at my chosen speed. Don’t let him dictate a faster pace.
  • Ride a clear line – can be any line, but must chose a definite line, and ride it.
  • Trot can do lengthening and shortening on a circle. Need more energy for the shortening. Is not slower – less energy. Is shorter and bouncier and up the energy.
  • Walk halting. From seat, staying round and ready to walk on again.  Use seat more and reins less in transitions.
Summary – stay sitting straight. Don’t over bend left. Get right flexion, and correct quarters in right. Control rhythm. Use seat more and reins less in transitions.

I have started being able to ask a bit more of him out hacking. Working in a more connected way, some leg yielding and shoulder fore as we hack, better transitions etc. This didn’t feel doable last month out hacking. He is so much more available, and my back has stopped hurting after hacking. A few months ago he was quite disconnected, crooked and wooden, and he hurt my back to hack. 

So big improvements. Lots to do on his straightness, building muscle and my balance and riding. He feels happy with what we are doing, and I am encouraged.

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