With the possibility of several training sessions/lessons coming up in the next two months, I've been trying to improve the basic things (once again!). More suppleness, more softness and a straighter horse and rider. There's been a lot of inside leg to outside rein whilst riding a circle and then a square both in trot and canter. I've always said to people that I have helped that it's all about the shoulders, if the shoulders are even then the horse will be straighter but for the last few weeks it's all that I've been thinking about.
Sometimes we just need to take a step back and focus on something easy. I've really put all the fun advanced movements on the back burner and decided to focus on making everything just a little bit better and easier (for both of us!) Vallu has not forgotten any of the tricks, he'll still turn on a sixpence and do a canter pirouette no problem, but the quality of the canter is now better than before because he's straighter and more balanced.
Squares and riding on the three quarter line have been fantastic exercises in improving the way Vallu moves. With these, both the trot and canter look better as I can focus on the quality of the movement instead of praying to the gods that we could go in a straight line. It's so much easier to ride a horse that is balanced and straight than one that is constantly falling out of his shoulder or leaning on either rein!
|This photo! :)|
And what a difference this has made! Although I shouldn't be surprised, I'm really pleased to see how much straighter Vallu is and how much easier it is to ride a diagonal across the arena when I just have to ride the movement rather than trying to get Vallu to go straight instead of a wobbly line. Seeing the difference in videos and pictures has made me really happy :) There's always room for improvement and we are not perfect, but it's nice to be able to see how you've improved in a few weeks.