|Look mom I can stretch!|
|Isnt she just the cutest|
She was happy as a clam though to work and we did a quiet warm up w/t/c where all I expected were basics: Rhythm and Relaxation.
I used a lot of changing rein to keep the warm up interesting and test how connected Tillie could stay through the change since she tends to lose the rhythm and connection when we do. Nope! Mare was perfect!
|This little bit longer/lower frame was my goal for the ride|
While I feel like the difference wasnt HUGE, I do think there were some moments she was getting it and a few really strong moments of seeking contact with an actual stretch down! WOO!! She could only do it for a few strides before shed come back up but that is a much bigger response then I had two rides ago...even if her hind end wasnt as energetic as D would like to see. (*Note: this was not rooting either which is what she will do when her hind end is not energetic enough...this was honest contact down and stretching).
|Will stretch for food.|
I worked on letting her canter go and get bigger and then bringing her back to a slower canter without hand and she responded beautifully. Let me tell you what, I need some conditioning in 2-point position because I was out of breath after only a few minutes...I was also reallly trying not to grip with my knees since I tend to do that apparently:
|This image shows perfectly how I am not actually wrapping my leg around Tillie when in a half seat or 2-point.|
We started off just cantering a small off a circle X to establish a rhythm and Tillie did that swimmingly. I then rode the same X to a rising oxer that was already set (about 2'7) and the first time through got an odd striding...about 4 1/2 to 5 but the last stride was really tight and she brought the front rail down. Not to say she never knocks rails, but it isnt often she does so just figured it was a distance thing and lets try again.
So ok, we need to either collect the canter a bit more or push for the four but, jumping Tillie, I prefer to do the add when first starting out to establish that adding is preferred with her tendency to get the gappy distances.
We circled and got our canter and came through again and it still rode really odd, but she cleared it. OK...one more time for good measure and to try to smooth out the edges. Nope, last time through was just as awkward and she brought down the last rail.
So in my head I decided lets try the other outside line and see if its us or the distancing of that particular line. The other outside line were two verticals, one with a coop as filler. First time through we got a nice even stride though Tillie drifted a bit left and was slightly wiggly to the coop. In all honesty it felt like she had lost a bit of confidence in the striding I am assuming from the first line because when I came back to do the line with the coop again she was much straighter and clicked into gear. I know I wasnt releasing just as much as my P lesson...but I tried to as best I could when I was thinking about it.
All in all she maintained a nice rhythm and I was pleased that, once again, she was uncomplicated.
I asked the friend that was teaching her lesson to quickly walk the distance of the awkward line because I was so curious. Sure enough it wasnt quite set up right and walked in an odd number of strides.
So lesson learned...if I am going to jump my horse I need to check distances or set them up myself.