21.5.15

Dressage lesson with Brooksby Dressage: Love your left rein

Another fantastic lesson recap. Vallu was on top form, that kind where you want to carry on working on everything because the horse is just giving you 110%. 
This is just normal working trot and LOOK AT THAT FRONT LEG
I have two big pieces of homework. Firstly the walk, which is definitely Vallu's weakest pace and improving it is vital to getting better marks - think shoulder-fore but with the neck straight. DO NOT let him drift behind leg, make sure he is marching forwards to prevent him for curling around and getting a dodgy with his walk. Then, I must must must sort out our transitions, especially walk to trot transitions where I get canter very easily instead! Trot to walk must be a 'forwards transition' as in Vallu cannot just lurch into walk underneath me, he has to slow down from trot to walk where the walk is going forwards...
The trot is much better than before, it's more in front of my leg and not over reacting when I ask him to activate his hind legs more, and I am 'allowed' to adjust the trot more without any temper tantrums. All of this is massive progress when compared to our previous lesson, and light years away when looking back at our first lesson. But now that we're both thinking more forwards, we're now focusing on getting from good and 3rd gear, to very good and finding that 4th gear in trot. To help get there I need to remember to love my left rein which is so vital in getting that big 4th gear trot out of him by ensuring that he is straight. And when I say he is straight, in reality it means that I need to have prepared well in the corner beforehand, activated his hind legs and made sure that he is on both reins - make sure that I have an equal amount in my left rein it is not allowed to be 'empty' so that I can turn him onto the diagonal with my left outside rein.
Exciting

Lili is determined to get us a good medium and extended trot, despite my protests that this horse doesn't trot well and that I don't know how to ride him in order to improve it. And oh how a good trainer can you get you to improve, I must admit that now even I'm starting to get excited about these movements as I can feel him really moving his front legs and coming through his back whilst staying soft and supply through the neck and the mouth. I now have lots of little tricks to help us improve the medium trot, but the newest one is thinking that: “'legs saying canter whilst hands saying walk' for a short while to increase the engagement." So lovely to see that what I'm feeling above the saddle is looking good in the photos too!
Horse or giraffe? ;)
Cooling down at 8.15pm! Last ones on the yard
From our last lesson I can feel that the relationship is starting to change a bit, as in Vallu is starting to take me a bit more seriously and accepting what I ask for, and I am starting to expect this from him and trust in both of us that we can do it. Next lesson is in a few weeks and before that I have my exams, Vallu has the physio and I'm away for 3 day back home in Finland so I have to make every riding session before that count!

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