Dressage lesson today, I rode Finn in the Myler, Patrik asked if it was a ‘danger bit’, he took a good look and was quite happy to see that it was anatomical and mild….
I’m now starting off by putting Finn in a long and low frame to get her stretching over her back abs reaching for the contact, she was somewhat distracted by the pot bellied piglets running about outside the indoor halle, so it didn’t quite go as planned and I needed to get her together and ask her for true and counter flexion to get her soft and return her attention to work! Patrik is keen for me to not let her off the hook, but to use the flexion method whenever we encounter a problem (e.g. if she starts to react to something environmental (like the piggies) or if she gets stiff or heavy etc.).
Once warmed up Patrik had us doing lots of transitions and spiraling in circles with leg yield out. He took my stirrups away and we worked on acute transitions: halt to trot (good) trot to halt (needs more work) and then from halt, immobility, 5 steps rein back then straight into trot. I’m getting much better within my preparation and must remember to breathe correctly throughout these exercises. This really helped to get her more reactive to a lighter aid; will do much more if this……
The walk after these exercises was amazing, really energetic and ‘through’, I could feel her over track and she felt up in her back and soft and light into the contact: good girl!
We then worked on the gears within the pace: working to medium trot, going off the aid with energy, and returning to medium/more collected trot with elegance and softness.
We worked on the canter next, again concentrating on quality transition between trot-canter-trot, without the ‘drunken horse’ effect before moving onto the walk to canter transitions. I must take a relaxed breath in as I ask for the canter from walk, and expect the reaction without compromising my position or chasing her. She did some lovely traditions from walk to canter; again, the canter walk transitions need more work and better preparation and support from me……
We worked on decreasing circles (to about 7-8m) and then controlled spiral out, followed by simple changes to change direction. Patrik commerce ted that me position was much better – riding like a princess!
We then did true and counter flexion in the canter on a 20m circle. Finn was great on the right rein with the counter flexion and found this relatively easy. The left rein in counter flexion was quite challenging and something we need to do more of, to support better suppleness and balance – the pre-cursors to true lightness and self carriage. Patrik called this body-building!
We then worked on the gears within the canter – working to medium and back again. Finn was super, but I must ensure I take 5 times longer to prepare and remember to breathe correctly.
Patrik was impressed with both Finn’s and my condition after what he called 1 hour of ‘tip-top’ work – we’re fitter than we look!!!