Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't canter like he's 3 years old!

I had an amazing lesson on Saturday. Maybe it was magnified by the fact that Eli felt SO good compared to all the giraffe problems we were having. The chiro really helped!

I always struggle with keeping the outside rein short enough. That is nothing new. We addressed that. Bascially I should always be ready to do a piroutte. Now we only do them at the walk, but I need to think about that feeling and I need to be ready to do one at the walk at any moment.

We had a bit of an awakening in the canter. This is my nemesis. There is no doubt about that. During this lesson my trainer really made me ride into the corners. I tend to not want to do that. It's hard. We might break. Lord knows we don't need any help breaking. We do that well enough on our own! However, the corner really helps to put Eli on his butt. It forces balance. It isn't easy. Sometimes we didn't get in the corner deep enough. Sometimes we broke. That didn't happen too many times cause I knew that I'd be forced to ride the corners so might as well figure out how to do that ASAP. So we did! And we did it well! The best thing was that when we came out of the corner we had a great canter! :) The quality was better and I had more horse behind me. If you remember the last post I talked about having enough horse behind me to keep the push in the canter. I don't want him pulling himself along with his front legs. My trainer talked to me about how my instinct is to make the corners easier. To not go into them too deep. That's great for a young horse, but my horse is not 3 years old and I need to stop riding him like that. It was very eye opening cause I do! I make easy corners which ultimately just make us lose balance. The complication comes in that we don't have many good corners to ride deep into at home. So we then practiced with making my own corners by turning from B to E and vise versa. That's hard! I asked my trainer to stand there so that I had to turn in front of him. I was overshooting. He said no because I needed to learn how to this so I could repeat it at home. I did fairly well and well enough to affect the canter like I needed to. Then we did a harder exercise. We picked up the counter canter and turned across the arena at B in counter canter and then turned at E in true canter. We all know how I love to counter canter! That "corner" like turn was a bit hard, but I excel at the counter canter and we did well. This made the turn in true canter feel "easier". At least it was suppose to - especially for Eli. It seemed to and we had a great canter through that turn and out of it. My trainer said it's getting tiresome reminding me that the counter canter is suppose to be harder! Ha ha. He says there is no reason that I shouldn't be able to do the same things in true canter that I do in counter canter. I tell that to myself every single day! Some day maybe it will work. :) In the meantime we are riding like we are big boys and trying to ride deep into the corners. Next lesson is at my barn tomorrow night and we are suppose to work on this again so I can get the feel in my arena. I did learn today during my ride that there is a lot more time between corners in my arena (it's huge!). So that makes it a bit challenging to maintain a good canter to get through the next corner. I might need to shorten the arena and make my own corners. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it! :)

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