Dressage lesson with Brooksby Dressage: Up and forwards

 Had another fantastic lesson again. Sorry if this makes no sense whatsoever my brain is frazzled from the lesson :P We carried on from last time (which you can read about HERE) and first worked on the basics. After the last lesson I've really been working on his trot, making sure he is active and always going forwards and never behind my leg - and Lili immediately said that it looked so much better. Amazing what a difference only 2 weeks of work can have, and how something can be improved so much. But because his trot was so good (7 to 7.5 if was doing a test) his canter doesn't seem that good anymore... So since we've improved the trot we now need to improve the canter too. 

My new laptop background ♥︎
 To improve the canter, Lili made me canter on the 3/4 line and made me do a proper working canter... Scary! Especially when the bird scarer keeps going off with a loud bang randomly in the field just behind the outdoor. In the left canter, he needs to be fully in front of my leg or otherwise he'll start doing flying changes as a way of avoiding having to work properly and correctly. He also sets his neck to the left, so that when I try to straighten his neck and if he is behind my leg then he'll do a flying change. Yet not that surprisingly when he is going forwards, I can straighten his neck no problem :P  When this was good, then medium canter on the long side. This needs working on from my part. It's psychologically very difficult for me to ask for Vallu to go forwards when there is a lot going on around us and Vallu is feeling tense. But I'll get there. The more and more that I have to cope with tense situations and it turns out that everything is okay, the better I will get at coping. Just have to keep on pushing and going forwards.

Turn head = turns shoulders = horse turns too
Lili then decided to shock me by asking me to ride a set of movements from PSG... At H, ride the diagonal towards X, but before X ride a half pirouette, then back to H in counter canter until a flying change at C, and repeat. And to my greatest surprise, we could do it! But only when I rode properly :P Don't try to micromanage everything, tell him what you want him to do and then make him do it even if there is a lot going on around us. It's simple really ;)

The trot work was good, and like I said earlier it has improved massively from two weeks ago. He's now much more flexible and softer in the neck, and has a lot more candence. The only weakness now is Vallu trying to fall out of his right shoulder when on the left rein (so his outside shoulder) It's better than last time, but I still really need to focus on it continuously. Again, serpentines are good to help me control it, but also shoulder in on the left rein to allow me to gain more control over his shoulders. 

Oh just look at that face :)

We had a bit of a talk about competing over the summer, which is very exciting. We both agreed that the first 5 (at least, if not more) times will be awful and rusty and that we're not going to expect much, but after that we can start aiming for higher levels and scores. Vallu really is such a good boy, it would be a shame not to even try to get him out and about.

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