Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cantering and a Spook

 For my lesson today I got to use my new bridle, a dark hunter bridle with laced reins, which just arrived Tuesday. I was able  to assemble it myself with instructions found online and adjusted it to fit Chester. He looks cute in it! I was also able to use a jumping pad today, which worked wonders for keeping the fitted pad in place. Chester was in a much better mood today.

Look how cute he is in his new bridle!

 Throughout my lesson I worked a lot on keeping Chester's heading facing to the inside of turn, which I can focus more on now that I'm getting better with my position and posting. I rode a lot of trot circles and some serpentines at the beginning part of the lesson. Sometimes when I would turn his head to the inside his whole body followed because I wasn't using enough leg to keep him on the outside. I need to work on guiding more with my legs and seat as well as my hands.

 After doing several serpentines I began my dressage test. I didn't always keep his head facing slightly to the inside(Meghan says to do it enough that I can just barely see Chester's inside eye) and he sometimes trailed off from the rail because I wasn't using enough leg, but it otherwise went well. The canter parts were replaced with a really big, fast trot as I usually do the first time going through the test that day.

 The second time I went through the test, when I was beginning my 20 meter circle at B, there was a sudden loud boom caused by nearby workers dynamiting granite. Scared by the sudden loud noise, Chester spooked. I quickly grabbed mane and fortunately managed to stay on. However both Chester and I were I little on edge for a few minutes afterward, so Meghan explained the importance of being able to continue riding after an event like that, especially at a show.

 When I reached the circle at A we circled quite a few times rather than moving on, working up to cantering by riding a big trot for the canter half of the circle and a noticeably smaller trot for the trot part. I eventually cantered several strides. I went around a few times with the canter parts before changing directions.

 I did the same thing to the left. Chester's left lead canter is a lot faster, but I did fine other than grabbing a bit of mane until the last time. I'm didn't do so good at having a smooth canter-trot transition, and once  even cantered an entire circle to the left when I didn't efficiently ask for a downward transition. Meghan says to use verbal cues and my body to slow him if he is going to fast, using the reins only as everything else doesn't work.

 It was a great lesson. There are a few things I need to work on, especially now that I'm getting better with position and posting so I don't have to think about that as much.
Things to Work on
-Turn Chester's head to the inside
-Use my leg to keep him on the rail or outside of circle
-Use my whole body to guide the horse and use reins less


  1. Using the legs, seat, and upper body/shoulder positioning more and reins less is so hard but I predict you'll pick it up pretty quick. =]

    1. It is a lot to think about> thank you for the compliment!


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