Since this last weekend, I am still riding the excitement of nailing the Training Level course at Waredaca. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to know we can do it and that stepping out of my comfort zone is starting to pay off...and its starting to feel a little more comfortable and not so out of the safe-box.
|Rocking the B element of a bending line|
Tillie usually shows up for C lessons all business and ready to work...which is GREAT but I would like the help on how to ride her when she starts testing me or is hyped up.
|Like when she sees her friends and wants to gallop out to them|
Sure enough, as soon as I got on her, I could tell we had some defensiveness happening...my last lesson with C went quite well but we established the need to re-treat Tillie for ulcers. After putting her on a 5-day test with Ulcer Guard tubes...she was a different, much softer horse.
I of course ran out on Sunday morning so the ducking behind the contact was back. That is not an answer I have missed miss Tillie.
|A good moment towards the end of our lesson|
When Tillie gets like this its a little bit like she tests me...or as C puts it: "Im not touching you...." in the most annoying, goading voice ever. Its hard for me not to get frustrated, but C reassured me and coached me into being patient. Rather than using the quicker half halts we normally need, use longer and slower ones to promote her elongating and going into the contact.
This ride was a lot more about getting her more honest in the bridle and more consistent even if it meant letting her get a bit lower in the poll to allow her to lift her whither, THEN let her come up...the trick being to let her do it so it was her carrying herself over me helping her.
|Like this wonderful moment in the canter|
Another thing that C had me doing much more this lesson was dropping my hands realllllly low almost thinking of them as side reins. The hard part for me is keeping them there and still...I am not sure what it is, but my inside hand especially, "jiggle wiggles." C will correct me and tell me not to, but its not an intentional movement...She suggested thinking of keeping my elbows touching my shirt a bit more.
Either way, its an issue that frustrates me...anything bodily or physically related is tough. Its like rubbing your stomach and patting your head while riding a horse. I know what I need to do, but getting my body to respond properly is a whole different animal.
|My position has come a long way since fall last year too...but its a never ending battle|
Think of her like an accordion; you should be able to elongate her neck and body and then package it back together again at any given time.
^^The above is what we are striving for more and more so that when I let my reins go a bit longer, Tillie should be following it and seeking it more. This requires getting her to unlock at the base of her neck which has always been a challenge...Tillie likes to stay in one place in her box. Getting her to trust herself or balance outside of that can be a bit hard to convince her.
|Just re-ordered these again...|
But we had some really nice moments of her giving me her back. A few times she broke into the trot in a honest mistake, but C was happy with that and said it was a matter of her learning to trust she can carry it.
|Like when we first had to get her to trust lengthening her stride in the trot|