Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting Chester on the Bit

  For Wednesday's lesson, I practiced getting Chester to round up and connect to the bit, I new skill that Meghan thinks I am ready to learn. Before that, I started my lesson by warming up around the dressage arena, trotting across diagonals and riding several serpentines. Chester was being nice, which was good.

  After the warm up, I went through my Training level test. It went smoothly, though I still need to make him straight when cantering down the long sides. Also, I need to swing my hips with the motion of the gait. It needs some work, but I am much more comfortable and confident and mostly need to work on my position, such as learning to keep my shoulders back.

 I finished the test, letting Chester stretch before working on leg yields. I did them trotting now that I have been able to accomplish them walking. The patter I rode went like this: start at K, leg yield to centerline, head to C, track right, then at M leg yield back to centerline. At A, track right to begin the pattern once more. I rode through pattern a few times, pushing Chester over with my leg. The leg yields are starting to improve from how they were about a month ago, when they were more like diagonals. By using more leg and slowing Chester done with half halts, I can get better leg yields.

 After the leg yields, I made a circle to the right at C and began learning how to make a horse round and connected. You do this by holding the outside rein and squeezing the inside rein. When the horse listens and lowers his head, stop asking and reward him with softness, which doesn't mean loosen or give Chester the reins back, losing all you work for, which is what I did at first. It took a few minutes to get Chester to understand what I wanted. He thought something like, "Slow down? Turn to the inside? Go faster?" Before long he began to lower his head for a little bit at a time. As he found that rounding up with earn him softness, he held it for a bit longer. I did this at the walk and then the trot. The tricky part with doing it at the trot is that you must be able to balance with your legs and body and not your hands; hanging on the horse's mouth is uncomfortable for him and can make him irritated. I'm at a level now that I balance without hanging on the reins.
Look at his frame is rounding up. 
Looking nice. This is what I need to create in the test.

 There were a fews time that Chester went in on the circle because I didn't push him out with my inside leg, or slowed because I didn't use enough leg, but I soon found a good balance. When I did, Meghan told me to practice my test and try to keep this feeling throughout(except for the canter parts; I'm not ready to try it cantering yet.). The test feels smoother when Chester is connected like that. For the canter parts and stretchy circle, I loosened my reins. Chester even lowered his head for the stretchy circle, which is nice. While he wasn't connected throughout the entire test, there were parts that he was.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading this post! I love to hear from and interact with my readers; it's what makes blogging worth it, so please comment and let me know what you think.