During the lesson, Laura taught about controlling the horse's rhythm. As riders, it is our responsibility to set the rhythm we want at all gaits, rather than letting the horse meander or rush off at the pace they desire. Loni and I started by asking for different lengths of walk: collected, medium, extended. The goal was to do as little as possible, and to ideally ask for the change of pace with just a change in our hips or a light touch of the calf. Though Lucky was fresh and fairly forward, she prefers to move in a short, slow walk. Every time I ride her, I usually have to remind her to pick up the pace often throughout the ride. Furthermore, with her there is a fine line between an lengthened walk and a trot. I had to experiment with varying degrees of pressure. For a while, I worked in the walk, shifting from collected, medium, and lengthened "gears."
|My first between-the-ears shot!|
|My position has improved so much since last year! Look at my leg!|
The most successful part, however, was the canter. As I stated on my blog a while ago, I've been having difficulties riding with the motion of the canter. However, when reading an article about the sitting trot recently, I had a revelation. The article said to move your hips with the motion of the horse's hips. Previously, I had thought that I had to move my hips forward when the horse tipped forward. Upon reading this article, I realized that I had had it all wrong. My hips had to move with the horse's. Therefore, when the horses pelvis tucked under, I and to allow my pelvis to tuck under.
I did have a few slip-ups where I lost my balance, causing her to fall out of canter, but those did not mar the success of the canter. One time, I believe I took my leg off. Since I didn't have stirrups to hold me, I fell onto her neck when she stopped, and decided to let myself slip off and land on my feet. It wasn't falling off–she was at a complete stand still, and I voluntarily disembarked rather than trying to scramble up her neck. I led her to the mounting block, remounted, and cantered one last time. This time, I cantered once around the ring then asked her to stop.
Afterward, I rode her around in the walk for at least 20 more minutes before putting her away. It will be raining for the rest of the week, so I'm happy I had this one great ride this week. I cannot wait to canter again. The thrill of cantering correctly can become addicting!