Although we didn't have the lesson that we planned, I did end up being incredibly proud of myself by the end of the lesson. Vallu decided to show Lili all of his moves - side ways jumping, mini rears, head shaking and everything in between! And because none of these freaked me out, I managed to force (not in a horrible way obviously) Vallu to sort himself out; I just sat there and asked for him to go forwards, be off my leg and in both reins. It was a real lightbulb lesson for me.
Even though we were in the outdoor arena that normally blows his brains, warming up was great. It was all about keeping his brain busy and keeping him busy - do ten meter circles, tear drop loops, changes of direction, serpentine, transitions. Throw everything and anything at him whilst keeping him happy. The aim is to engage his brain and body whilst keeping him calm and happy at the same time, and I think it worked really well.
The main exercise of the lesson was starting work towards the canter half pass zig zag. Eventually I really really want to get to doing the proper GP line, but I know that is a long long way away. But it's an exciting thing to even think about it... I just had to do a few fine tweaks on just the basic half pass from corner to centre line half pass - my right wrist is not allowed to be tense as it blocks the shoulder and doesn't let him move side ways enough, I have to differentiate between the straightness and the actual half pass better, and to plan further in advance to leave enough time to do flying change at the end.
We moved to doing a few steps half pass, straighten, flying change, half pass in the other direction, and repeat. I was shocked at how I really need to up my game now that we can do good half pass and good flying changes. I think for a while I've been too focused on improving those separately that when I was asked to ride them together and in quick succession I just could not react quickly enough. This is definitely on my homework to-do list.
After a good long walk break, I then managed to really make Vallu mad by probably for the time truly riding every step and making him work hard, using both reins and legs effectively. Cue a mahoooosive temper tantrum, and as Lili said "he got his knickers so tightly twisted." I really don't think he was in any pain whatsoever, I genuinely believe he was shocked that I was riding propely, not backing off and asking him to work through it by himself. We were going to do shoulder in, ten meter circle, and repeat but never got to it the end as we had to try to get Vallu to simply trot around so that 1. there was no exploding and trying to bugger off with me 2. he was actually trotting through his back 3. he was breathing ;) I can safely say that it took us a good thirty minutes to get him to chill. It also gave me the chance to try a new tactic for his spooking that JLC had told Lili to do only hours before. Always asking for a forwards reaction, even when spooking. Less hand, and leg on. Petrifying but really good.
I'm very proud of myself. No matter what Vallu tried to throw at me I either just sat there quietly waiting for him to get over himself, or then told him to get over it. Have Lili to thank for this, never before would I have coped so well with this. Bring on the next lesson, exciting times!
|Super school master :)|