3 of my Goals achieved so far this season:
· BD Regional Finals Qualification (Bury Farm, Tuesday 25 July)
· Trailblazers Championships Qualification (Addington International, 10/11/12 August)
· BD Area Festivals Qualification (Onley Grounds, Saturday 19 August)
So we focussed today on how I can get the best out of these Championships.
Warming up – and throughout the ride – concentrate on pushing Nash’s chin forward if he starts to curl/over bend. Riding him up from behind into the contact.
Submission left/right and allow left – submission right/left and allow right; play the bit in his mouth and then allow. Not a restricting hand, but a balancing/supporting rein. Allow without throwing the contact away.
Accuracy and Use of the Arena (especially circles – size and shape).
It’s totally unnecessary and unacceptable to throw marks away for inaccurate riding and poor shape and size circles – I asked Jane to help with this today and I’ve lost marks in a LOT of tests for inaccurate circles!
Under test conditions, assess the arena and know the geometry. Arena boards usually 4m long.
Practice riding the centre line, then the 3/4 line (5m), then the 2.5m line and looking at a point in the distance before I make the turn and staying on it. Keeping the line between his front legs.
4 points of the circle – on a 15m circle at A or C, think ‘now’ when crossing the 3/4 line and manage the continuous turn. On a 10m circle – I should be thinking about turning every stride! His outside shoulder should be on the outside point of the turn. When changing rein across the diagonal, ride his inside shoulder to the marker, then I can better use the corner to set up the next movement.
For medium trot or canter, think of allowing the neck forward (not putting him long and low) and ride into it to fill the space, staying in balance and lengthening the frame and the steps. In medium canter do not sit back and push, this makes him hollow; think forward. Make the transitions in and out clear.
Keep the jump in the canter (think of the rising canter).
Give and Retake
Prepare – perhaps put him a bit lower in the contact just before the G&R – balance, squeeze in with the knees to keep the balance and prevent him from rushing.
Counter Canter in Novice Tests
Make sure that the flexion is changed for the corner after the counter canter. Keep him ‘straighter’ in the counter canter.