Last Friday I had an amazing but hectic day training where at the end of the day I felt like I had been at a training camp for a week, my head was just full of new ideas and I had so many light bulb moments! 💡🐴
In the morning, I had a lesson with the amazing Jenny Erikson and Vallu totally redeemed himself from last time! It was a brilliant training session, I was so pleased with both Vallu and myself. Of course when a lesson is brilliant that's the one time there is no photographic evidence as I was on my own. Vallu was working with me, cooperative and just the right amount of forwardness (apart from a few spooks, but those had legitimate reasons!)
Much of the lesson was focused on softness by being through the back. Sounds simple enough, but I always enjoy being taught different ways how to achieve this quicker. This time, Jenny had two different exercises which both worked incredibly well for Vallu. Firstly, trotting on the 3/4 line but at the middle of the long side ride a trot-walk-trot transition where the transitions have be really fluid. What was different to how I normally do it is that the walk has to be 6-7 strides, rather than the 3-4 strides I tend to do. Doing more walk strides means that Vallu had time to settle down into a calm "notpassagestyle" walk and this worked really well on improving our non-existent good collected walk! 🙌🏻 I was really pleased with this, and I know this exercise will work well for Basse too.
The other exercise was to do leg yields from the centre line to the wall like it shows in the diagram above ⬆️ but with shoulder in for a few strides on the centre line before the leg yield and more shoulder in after the leg yield on the short side. Leg yielding has always been a movement that I've liked doing but I had never thought about joining it up with shoulder in like this before. And it really did improve the leg yield a lot. I also tried this with Basse yesterday and it really helped him too!
|Our outdoor is officially not frozen anymore! Yay!!|
After my lesson, in the afternoon I was very fortunate to have a 'lesson' on the dressage simulator. I've had lessons on these mechanical horses every few years and they are a god send for improving your seat and posture. There are mirrors on both sides and the tv screen in front of you shows exactly how you're sitting so you really get a lot of information about how you're sitting. What Jenny had already pointed out in the morning lesson with Vallu was confirmed by the mechanical horse in the afternoon, my left seat bone is a bit higher than my right one which gives space for Vallu to do flying changes whenever he wants to on the left rein and which is why I struggle sometimes to get Basse to go 'straight' on a circle in the left canter. Once that had been sorted by shifting me into a correct position and I felt how it's actually meant to be like, the results were immediately seen on the screen and everything had evened out! 😁 Yesterday when I rode both boys I had no problems with the left canter on both, so something must have worked!