I started out by working on Lucky's rhythm at the walk. It is my responsibility as the rider to set the rhythm, and it all beings at the walk. There was a corner of the arena that had a puddle in it, so I had to be prepared to give her extra support to keep her going, for she wanted to slow down at the puddle.
|Someone is looking fancy(it's not me).|
Most of the lesson, I worked in a clover leaf pattern. There were four cones set up with two parallel poles set in the middle, and I had circle the cones and go over or between the poles, depending on which direction I was going, of course. I began at the walk. At first, I did not go directly over the center of the poles. When I remembered to look at the center of poles only until Lucky was lined up, and then look ahead, I was more successful.
Also, per usual, Lucky had the most difficultly going right and often cut the circle in. This did not set me up for making a straight line on the poles. However, when I applied inside leg, lifted my inside hand, and looked directly where I wanted her to go, Lucky made a big, wide circle and hit the pole in the dead center. This exercise requires a great deal of patience. There is so much to think about because it requires a coordination of every single aid.
|She is beginning to be in the right place for trotting here.|
I took break from the exercise for a while to trot along the rail. I did not just fro right off whenever I wanted to. Before making a transition, I made sure that Lucky was in front of my leg by asking her to walk more quickly. Only once she was paying attention did I ask her to trot. Some of the trots she did that day were simply amazing. I could feel her stretching down and using her back, bounding as she trotted. During the sitting trot a few times, I even felt like I was really with her. I was not just sitting on her back trying to balance. I felt like my hips were moving and melting with the motion of her back. It was amazing.
I then did the clover leaf pattern at the trot, alternating between trotting and walking as I rode the exercise. Sometimes, I only trotted for the straight line between the cones, walked a circle, then trotted again. Other times I trotted around circle and then walked, or trotted for a a bit longer. Laura was constantly changing it up.
|My position is awful her, but look at roundness and stretching.|
To finish a great lesson, I worked on cantering. I started to the left, because Lucky trots best that direction. Like when I began trotting, I started by making sure that Lucky was in front of my leg. I trotted for a few strides, then walked, then trotted again, working several transitions before finally asking for the canter. Lucky bounded right off. I cantered for a few strides to begin with, but the next time, I cantered an entire lap. That day, I cantered the best I have ever cantered, which is why Laura let me canter so long. I was really with her as she cantered. It was an incredible feeling. Then, I cantered to the right with the same success. To finish off, I went for a trail ride in the empty pasture.