Saturday, June 27, 2015

Round Through Transitions

I had yet another fantastic ride earlier this week.  Lucky was round much more consistently, and most importantly, I was able to keep her round through transitions, which was a lot of work.  I again rode her western.

 I lunged her, then started by working on a trot circle to right after I had mounted.  Immediately, I began asking for roundness and an inside flexion.  My hands were much more steady than usual, and I was able to keep her consistently round, rather than round or only a few strides, which is amazing.  To prepare for an exercise I would do later, I worked through a lot of transitions.  I tried to keep her round through the transitions.  It is very difficult, because while riding a transition I had to be actively flexing and I had to stop her from leaning on my hands.  This was most difficult in the trot-walk transitions.  Downward transitions require just the right amount of leg so that the horse remains round.

Lucky in her western gear

 Lucky leaned a lot during the trot-walk transition, so I needed to use the right combination of leg(to keep her round and get her off my hands) and seat(to slow her).  Often, I needed to give her a kick during the transition to tell her, "Don't lean on my hands."  Then I would slow her.  This often resulted in a few dribbling jog strides into the walk, but Laura said that it was more important at this point that Lucky stays round through the transition.  After some work, I was able to consistently keep her round through the trot-walk transition.  I had taught her that I expect her to stay round.

 Roundness through the walk-trot transition came later.  I didn't have to deal with leaning in the upward transition, but I still had to flex her while she made the transition.  Finally, I got it.  I now have a feel of what it feels like to flex through the transition to keep Lucky round.  It certainly is a step forward in my progress as a rider.
After her bath

 Next, I did a very challenging exercise: a serpentine with a few walk strides between each change of direction. This may not sound very difficult, but it is because it takes a lot of preparation and thought.  I had difficultly getting a sharp trot-walk transition.  Either Lucky would walk only after passing centerline(I wanted her to walk over) or she would jog really slowly and never walk.  I needed to ask very early for the walk, as soon as I rounded the bend of the circle and began making a one toward centerline.  Most if the exercise went by with me struggling to get it right.  I also needed to ask for a more bold trot to show more difference between between the walk and the trot.  At last, all the hard work and focus paid off.  I had several real well-timed walk transitions, and a big trot. Laura decided to end on this good note, because both Lucky and I had done very well. I cooled her down outside of the arena.

What went well:

  • Consistently round
  • Steady hands
  • Roundness through transitions
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  1. Congrats! That is a huge step in your education!

  2. i might try that serpentine exercise - sounds like a good one!

    1. It is a good, but very challenging, though I guess good ones are. I hope it goes well for you!

  3. Yes yes yes all about preparation. So hard to do sometimes though!


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