Dressage training with Ville Vaurio: Planning

"You've got to plan what you're gonna do, you can't just ride it and hope for the best" Err oops, so I might not have been the most motivated/attentive student during the lesson, but I did have an incredibly good lesson considering for half of the lesson I couldn't hear anything that Ville was trying to say thanks to the torrential downpour of rain which made so much noise on the indoor arena's roof!
Vallu tired even before the lesson
The lesson was very technical. And I adore those lessons, but they're always really hard and I struggle, but then when something goes right, the feeling is unexplainable. Although I've been riding Vallu for two years now (btw how does time go by so quickly?!?) I feel like only now have I started to learn how to really ride these movements. Finding the confidence of being able to actually go and try an advanced test is something amazing, and I'm so glad that we've finally gotten here.

So we began with working on the pirouettes. Instead of doing our normal work, with transitions between walk and collected canter, we did working pirouettes around Ville, which was a difficult change. It made it harder, but it also gave me time to fix things when they didn't go according to plan!

From here, we moved onto riding the proper line that's in most dressage tests, so along the diagonal, half pirouette, back along the diagonal, flying change. When a set of movements is difficult, plan it well. Ride the corner, straighten the horse, ride more towards A than X, slight shoulder-in, collect, outside leg back to ask for pirouette/half pass, collect, turn into pirouette, ride out of pirouette, straighten horse, flying change, ride the corner and then onto the next movement. (So easy, NOT!)
Happily hacking!
After this, the heavens opened. Vallu has never been very good with loud noises, and he always gets a bit hot when doing tempi changes, so I was filled with dread when it started to rain so much. Noticing that such a noise sensitive horse could carry on working when the torrential rain was so loud that you couldn't even hear yourself think was great, and amazingly Vallu decided to only tense up, and we didn't get a single spook or any running away! We did the usual exercise, along the diagonal, one single flying change, then thee four tempi changes, then four three tempi change, and finished with five two tempi changes. The two tempis had to be repeated a few times so that I could get them right.

Vallu was really tired, so we only did a bit of trot, and a good tip that I got was to improve the trot by doing leg yields so that you can control the shoulders/sides/ribs. Instead focusing more on how Vallu looks, I have to concentrate on making the trot big, which then tends to lead to a bigger, more flowing working trot.
My new Calevo loves!
And Vallu, if you're reading this ;) thank you. Thank you for being so brave even though I felt that you were scared you were amazing!

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