I started the lesson by trotting along the long side of the dressage arena, then started a trot serpentine when I reached C. It was great! Meghan didn't have to correct me on my posting diagonal or my position. In fact she's having to correct me less and less. I rode Chester on several serpentines before taking a short walk break because it was very hot today.
I then rode a few other serpentines, this time walking in between each circle and picking up the trot only a couple steps later before I had to turn to make my next twenty meter circle. Some of transitions were a bit sloppy, but a few great: I stopped on time and began trotting just moments later. Then I began to trot along the perimeter of the dressage arena. After going around, I crossed the diagonal of the arena, heading from K to M so that I could change directions and start heading left. At H I once again crossed my diagonal to start heading right again.
Meghan and I both soon noticed that Chester was becoming a bit irritated, tossing his head, which she said was because his pad with inserts that helped his saddle to fit better had slipped forward a bit and now longer supported the back of the saddle, making him uncomfortable. Before continuing, I dismounted and Meghan adjusted the pad.
I then got back on and picked up the trot once more. After doing just a lap, Meghan put a longeline on Chester. Because I have been progressing so quickly these past couple weeks, she thinks I ready to do more cantering. I started by walk-trot a couple circles to the right, then left, and finally started a circle to the right again to begin cantering. I was apprehensive about cantering; I was worried that I would fall off, so I held the pommel of the saddle and sat back when he cantered. I cantered several times, doing it a few few strides at a time. I have to work on relaxing and not bracing my body when riding the canter. The second to last I was actually sitting deep in the saddle rather than being bumped up.
|Here's a cantering picture! I was looking down most of the time, another problem.|
For the last set of canter strides that lesson, I asked for the canter, not Meghan, and I was a bit more relaxed. I'm determined now to be more relaxed and confident next time I canter and to not be worried about falling. Falling is part of riding and if I fall I will just get back on.