Monday, September 22, 2014

Canter on the Bit with Ronnie

 Wednesday, I rode Ronnie and I had a great ride. For the first part, though, I was riding very well. It turned out to be caused by me having to push Ronnie forwards while posting since she was going slowing, so I was given a crop to help in case needed. After that, I was much better.

 I made Ronnie go more forward, tapping her with the crop in addition to using my voice and leg. while I rode her I asked for her to become connected to the bit. Meghan gave me a draw rein to use, which makes getting a horse connected a bit easier because it uses more pressure on the bit. I was able to make Ronnie become round quite a bit of the time, working on both a circle and then a straight after I had established a good connection.

 For most of the lesson I was working on a circle so I could focus mostly on keeping steady hands and connecting Ronnie to the bit. It can take a lot of work to do it properly and requires good balance so you don't hang on the horse;s mouth, but it was worth it. Riding with a connected horse is nice.

 Since I was able to keep a steady connection, I could try cantering with a horse on the bit. I asked for a forward trot, got Ronnie connected, then asked for the canter transition in the corner. While she cantered I continued to ask for connections and half-halted with the outside rein to keep her straight. The resulting canter felt very balanced. I rode several circles to right, then did the same thing the left. It still took quite a few circles to get everything in order, but I was able to connect her in the trot and canter. I had a great, productive lesson.
 Friday when I rode Chester, he was in one of his hot moods, probably from not being ridden, so I had to spend a lot of the lesson getting him to calm down. He was fine in the trot when I was warming him up. However, when began riding serpentines with the canter in the middle part, he began getting wild and doing some small hops. I tried asking only with my voice and loosened the reins, but he was still hot, even on just one 20m circle, so Meghan told to ride a trot serpentine with  halts at each change of direction. This slowed him down a bit. I also tried riding a circle and spiraling it in and out using my weight and seat.

 After doing that for a few minutes, I tried it the other way, and finally cantered on a circle. The result was much better and controlled. I rode several circles, first to the right, and then to the left. That wrapped up my lesson.


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