Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Be Soft

 Moe was much more calmer for this lesson. In fact, I had to push her so she would be going forward enough to get on the bit, something I worked with a lot this lesson. I worked both on a circle and on the straight, in both directions. Even though Moe was calmer, I still had trouble getting her on the bit. She wanted to put her head up in the air, but I continued asking her to lower her and become round. It can be difficult to push the horse forward, while still thinking about having outside connection and inside flexion, using your inside leg to keep her on the circle. When I softened my aids a lot more, gently alternating which rein I squeezed, I was able to get her to become round for a few moments. I patted her, praised her, I stopped asking until she raised her head again.
Canter left.

 Another thing I did was ride down the long side at the walk, halting at each letter. While halted, I gently squeezed the inside rein to get her to drop her head. Then, I would gently squeeze her with calves, using primarily my voice to get her walk on, stopping when I reached the next letter and repeating.
Walking on a shortened rein to get her on the bit.

 When I returned to trot, Moe was much more responsive and willing. I made a 20 meter circle to the right, and asked for canter. Moe picked up the left lead instead, but Meghan said to use that opportunity to make a short diagonal to E, then a half circle to change directions. I half halted to keep her at a comfortable pace, because now that we were cantering. Moe was becoming her usual energetic self. Moe ended up returning to trot when I momentarily lost my balance. I asked for canter, then made another short diagonal to canter right.
Part of my nice, calm canter.

 It was when I cantered to the right on circle that I did really well. I focused on sitting up straight and deep in the saddle, keeping my calves on and outside leg back, and on half halting the outside rein while squeezing the inside rein to keep her on the circle. It felt amazing! Moe was in a smooth, collected canter that was neither fast or slow. Meghan said I looked very good! However, as I focused on keeping my position correct and aids effective, the geometry of me circle began to slack. I pushed Moe out to the correct parts, and once I had made an entire correct circle, I returned to trot.

 The lesson felt very productive, despite the fact that Moe wasn't as easy to get on the bit as she often is. I just need to focus on gripping with calves more, softening my elbows, and keeping my toes straight. My left foot seems to always point slightly out, so I need to practicing refining my position and keeping my feet straight without letting the rest of my position slip.


  1. nice lesson! my toes always want to point out too - such a difficult habit to fix!

    1. Yeah, especially when there is so much other things to focus on.


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