|we have arrived!|
This weekend was the weekend was my dressage coach was down. Normally we do Saturday and Sunday lessons, however a bunch of last minute cancellations made it so she couldn't come down Saturday, and we had to trailer out somewhere 35 minutes away for my lesson Sunday. While bummed to not ride both days, an off property outing is always good for the green beans!
I didn't ride until late afternoon. I headed over to my moms around 1:30, and we quickly loaded up Miss Ron and hit the highway. She got off the trailer unphased and settled right into a stall. Ronnie can be known to be a bit "up" when she first arrives off property. However I was pleasantly surprised as she was definitely nervous but stood tied in her stall eating hay while I groomed her and tacked her up.
|PS I love this cooler|
She thought nothing of the new barn and new arena either. I walked her around both directions on the ground in the arena and mounted without incident. I walked around in a somewhat relaxed walk and discussed with Daphne how she has been going and what we have been working on. We started into trot and right away Daphne has me working towards more bend, and getting Ronnie to tuck her left shoulder under her. She has a tendency to let it fall out into the center of the ring when on the left rein. We worked on trotting down the 1/4 line and really pushing her up into that left bend, accepting her shoulder up under her. Within the trot, we worked on change of pace, and her reaction to the leg.
To the right, you could see how much easier she traveled with her shoulders in the correct position, and her bend to the right was quite good. We worked on the right for a short bit as a reward, in between going back on the left rein and really asking her to accept the left leg into the right rein. You could feel the difference the minute she gave, and since she is much weaker to the left she could only hold it for a few strides at a time.
We went into some canter work and then back to trot to address her reaction to my leg. When I half halt, I wasn't getting anything in the first half of the aid - as in no forward impulsion to then collect. We worked on her coming off my leg immediately when I say. Asking for more forward, then slower, then forward, then slow, then move into the corner, and change rein, same thing to the right, which she finds easier, then back to left. We did so much trot work, going more and more forward off my subtle leg cues. Once in a while she would throw in her protest leg kick at my leg, then move forward. Daphne described it as needing a boost of energy for the half halt, without the boost you have nothing to "halt".
|time to go after being such a good girl|
We did this for the majority of our ride. Little boost boost boost. We then went into canter and did the same exercise. It is pretty redundant to write about, but the difference in Ronnie was noticeable. She would lift into a whole new trot world when she would come off my leg with that little "boost", and then I half halt her. Eventually, she was responding immediately to my leg and no longer swishing her tail or kicking out. Daphne basically said this is my homework for the month. We can't begin to do collection work if we don't have the right energy to collect. Makes perfect sense to me. She also still needs to accept the leg more. This is also why I have been doing so much lateral work with her. She gets really offended by the leg anywhere it doesn't belong (in her eyes).
It was a tiring and sweaty lesson for us both, but we came away with a deeper understanding of where we need to be at this time on our journey, and what we need for that true connection to take us up the levels. I will be working on this for the next month and hopefully we will have it down by next month when Daphne is down.
I have yet to leave a lesson with Daphne not learning something, usually something really important. I'm so lucky we have access to her on a regular basis.