Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cantering & Lungeing

 I had a really fun, productive lesson today. It began with me warming Reno up by walking around the arena and doing walk-halt transitions, like I usually do, and ended with me getting even better at posting. While I was warming up, Meghan set two pairs of poles in the dressage court half of the arena, marking the places where each circle would touch. Then, made a serpentine at the walk. Next, I trotted it.

 Once I had finished doing serpentines, I moved to the next part of the lesson. Meghan told me I would be cantering a few strides to get a feel for it(Reno is an older horse and thus doesn't canter well, and Meghan only wanted me to find out how cantering feels before I can do a lot of it), which I was excited about. She explained to me how to ask for it by making a kissing sound and squeezing with my legs, then told me to trot a circle before beginning.

 When I first asked Reno to canter, he just began trotting really quickly(I almost ran into a jump standard), not cantering, but before long he had cantered two strides, so I slowed him to a walk. The rocking motion of the canter was a bit hard to get used;  it almost felt like I was thrown forwards. The second and third time around was much better. I felt like I was sitting more smoothly in the saddle the third time, too.

 After that, Meghan decided I should try strengthening my posting work. She brought out a lungeline, hooked it to the bit, and tied the reins in a knot to prevent them from flying all over the place. Then, she told me to stretch my arms out while she asked Reno for a trot. Without having to worry about steering, I was able to work on posting well: not rising out of the saddle too much, sinking down too heavily, or putting my shoulders forward. Several times, Meghan had Reno change directions. She also had me put my hands out, on my head, on my hips, or on my thighs, but never on the mane, neck, or reins.

 When she was done lungeing Reno, Meghan told me to drop my stirrups and ride at the walk around the arena before returning to the dressage court to do a serpentine at the trot. After that, the lesson was over, so I dismounted and untacked.

 I have pictures and a video from the lesson. I haven't been able to post any of the videos yet, but hopefully I can upload them on YouTube later so you can watch me ride.

  I forget to mention that I had gotten gloves for Christmas so I used those in my last two lessons. I also got a crop, but I won't use it until I am a bit more experienced---there's already a lot to focus on when riding.


  1. Cantering takes some getting used to but it's the best gait :)

    1. I'm really excited about beginning to learn to canter.

  2. Yay for cantering!! Your instructor sounds really good and it sounds like you are doing really well :)

    1. She is really good and always has me work on improving stuff I know, then introduces some new stuff each lesson, too.


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