19.6.17

Dressage training with Ville Vaurio: bend around the inside leg

I had been looking forward to this for SO LONG! I don't know why, I think it's because Vallu has been so good for the last few weeks since our lesson with Jenny and I was super excited to go training with a horse who was in good health and going well! I was a bit worried about going to a new place for the first time, even though we have visited this place a few weeks ago to support a friend of mine who was competing there. I think it's because at home it's so lovely and quiet whereas I knew how busy this place would be and I was freaking out about everything that could possibly go wrong... 🙄 However, turns out I was nervous for no reason - Vallu was a total star, he didn't put a hoof out of place, he totally ignored my 5 minutes of being a worry fart and stayed chilled! I'm SO proud of him 🌟



After we had done a good 15 minute walk warm up, we then started warming up in trot and canter doing big circles after which Ville decided that we both needed to work on getting the horses to bend around the inside leg better. This was done by riding collected trot around the arena and before every corner riding a 10 or 12m circle in walk. This was a brilliant exercise because it really highlighted my lack of riding properly into the corners and it made me ride what felt like a million transitions. The walk circles in the corners showed me that whilst I feel like I do ride into the corners, I do have about 1m more than I could use and that would give me a few extra steps which are vital when riding a test! And riding those small circles makes the horse bend around that inside leg so I am definitely going to start using this as a warm up exercise especially on the left rein.

It's funny how the longer Ville has been working at my brother's yard in Germany, the more he starts to sound like Henri. Everything was focused on improving the horse's way of going - better push from the hind legs, more suppleness, straighter and more reactive to the leg aids. And honestly having to focus on those four things did make Vallu feel so much nicer! Especially in the canter Vallu tends to be just a tiny bit behind the leg in such a way that I don't even notice it until we start to do something a bit more difficult and then suddenly it all goes to pot... By having him more reactive to the leg aids (which is my job to work on) Vallu then pushed more from his hind legs resulting in a much bigger canter stride that looked a lot better than his 'normal' comfort level canter. Lots of homework for me!


I thought we were done at this point, but nope Ville wanted to see some flying changes! Single flying changes went well since we do those quite often and Vallu is a pro at these but when I had to ride 4 tempis, that's when I wanted to cry and give up. I can do 3s and 2s no problem, but the 4s have always been a problem for me for some reason and thus obviously I practise them the least often. Which is why I got told off for avoiding them and got given them as homework for next time! So for the next month until Ville is back again I will be doing lots of sitting trot and 4 tempi flying changes... #workthosecoremuscles #mypoorbutt

If anyone is interested I am wearing my Spooks unicorn t-shirt and Kingsland chisasib riding leggings. Vallu wears the Equestrian Stockholm pad in midnight blue, Eskadron navy bandages and Kingsland over reach boots ✨

9 comments:

  1. So wonderful that he was such a good boy! It's such a stressful thing to bring them to a new place. Sounds like you guys were amazing though!

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  2. Looooovee that shirt! HKM is also launching as unicorn theme collection I think!
    He looks like he's such a pleaser, you look amazing!

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    1. AAAHhh no way?! I will have to keep an eye out on HKM then! I ADORE anything with unicorns on it I can already see myself buying everything! And thank you so much, it means a lot 💙

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  3. Oh man Vallu looks fantastic! Sounds like a great lesson!

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    1. Ahh thank you!! It was super hard work but I think he went really well and the photos don't look too bad!

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  4. Would you look at that fancy pants arena!? I feel like a complete country bumpkin over here! Gorgeous.

    You guys look amazing together. Every time you haul somewhere, nerves get better. Good for you!

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    1. Ahaha I wish our arena was like too! They've used the same type of sand and fibre that was used in the Rio Olympics 😍 It was a dream to ride on. And thank you!! He's such a good traveller but I always get tense going to a new place.

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  5. You and Vallu look great together. I'm a little jealous of your ring, the footing looks incredible. I've always loved dressage, but it is very hard to find a good dressage trainer in my area. There are mostly hunter/ jumper barns.

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