Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lesson #139 & #140: More Practice

I've been having trouble lately, during my rides. I can't really attribute it to anything specific other than my habit of over-thinking everything. As a result, we've been doing some more simple exercises that focus on the basics.

I'd say that the trot, both seated and rising, are reasonably solid now. I know what to do and how to initiate and transition up or down. I would say I could certainly use some work on the positioning some but a lot of it is related to my declining flexibility and musculature and/or increasing stiffness. It's not that we don't work on those things too, but transitioning up into canter and really riding that properly into corners and keeping at the right pace are all things that are what needs to be looked at.

One of the things we work on is transitions on the letter. Either up or down or halting or starting are all fair game. I don't know why but my transitions up to canter are usually tricky because there is a bit of a fast trot before getting up there. I think leg position and coordination of leg aids is the big point here. To correct the behaviour, I use the spur on the inside to get Ariel to pay attention after asking her twice. The transition back down is equally challenging because I have to immediately prepare for a slow or halt when asked and Ariel's downwards transitions always seem jolty and uncomfortable.

On the other hand, the next lesson was focused on regaining confidence on a course and we had a course of 3 ground poles. Instead of jumps, Sheri set up jump poles and we started with the trot and then moved into canter. I'd say that the objective here was to remove the element of height and focus on angles, speed and control. This was an amazing exercise that gave us the opportunity to forget about the height and just focus on the other aspects of jumping a course properly. I admit that the flow was great and I didn't once get caught up on the over-analysis while approaching the jumps.

These were very fruitful lessons and I was really excited to continue gaining comfort over these types of exercises.

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