Dressage Lesson with Nicky Lickley @ Kingswood EC

The next scales of training – Straightness and Suppleness

Chris came and video-taped my lesson tonight so that I can review and improve my riding.  I found that the video really helped me when I was riding in Australia so hopefully I can replicate the improvement!

I must ensure that I don’t get ‘scoopy’ in my seat.  Think of tilting the pelvis to ensure I am sitting upright and straight.  Put my hands on my hips with my fingers facing forwards – tilt my pelvis and see that the fingers are pointing more outwards – this is the pelvis opening and is where I need to be.  I still tip forward and must guard against this without becoming stiff.  Think of pulling up through my diaphragm and opening the collar bones – strengthening through my core.

We concentrated today on suppleness and encouraging Finn to give through her neck and back – she is still stiff through her back and needs to work harder.  Circle in to 10m leg yield out – canter on 20m, this will help to get the hind legs underneath her more.  For the canter transitions – ride two steps of leg yield then canter strike-off.

Another good exercise on the circle is to ride shoulder-in on the circle, making sure that I push her through and don’t allow her to drop behind my leg.

On the straight lines ask for more bend – then straighten, especially when she gets stiff or heavy.  Ensure that the shoulders stay straight with just the head and neck bending.

Build the trot towards medium – ride forward and maintain the balance, if she gets tight or tries to break into canter then outside flexion to ensure she maintains the trot steps – also I can ride a ‘half transition’ to help balance more effectively.

She tends to canter quarters in (this is normal), but to get her straighter in the canter, think of shoulder-in in canter – have her front end to the inside a metre (in my head) then she is straighter.

Use the stretchy trot – get her moving forward and swinging and then bring her back into frame but keep the swing.

Cool down with stretchy long rein trot on a serpentine.  Helps to cool down and keep the back muscles relaxed.