Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August already

Rode as early as I could as it was already very hot and just got hotter. A usual arena ride starts out with a long free walk to get the juices flowing and the muscles warmed up and free. Then I put her together and begin asking her to work at the walk, doing circles, leg yields, shoulder fores/ins (she can mostly do ins at walk now, fores only at trot), sometimes some beginning pirouettes, all alternated with stretches and transitions.

Then the trot work begins. She no longer seems to require a lot of ugly trotting to get to the pretty trotting but goes into a real trot in the length of probably half a 20M circle. And then she's ready to work at trot. We start out at trot doing transitions, larger circles to smaller circles, some leg yields, shoulder fores, and intersperse these with stretchy trot circles which is the movement we have to learn to do T3. She will stretch, and she will circle, however, she rarely holds the stretch for an entire circle and her circle tends to fall in and get smaller. I need to figure out at least the keep the circle big part.

She is getting more lateral which is very good -- it will mean more step under, more engagement, more acceptance of the bit. She can do the quarter line to the track in by M/B now without losing rhythm or creating tension. She can hold the shoulder fore half the arena too, then do a 12M circle and continue the fore for the rest of the long side. Most times we do two circles in a long side instead of just the one, but still, she can hold it that long on occasion.

Also at trot I throw in transitions at different places, to different gaits. She almost has trot to halt (like two walk steps) but up is harder for her. Although she is wonderfully willing. But we do them at C/A sometimes, or on a diagonal, or long side, or quarter line, or circle. We try to maintain round and bend/straight.

We did the trot/canter circle thing but this time at a serpentine. That idea was somewhat complicated by the guy working on his shooting backstop which was freaking Rolinette out so we just did two circles at the other end/middle of the arena, not the full three loop serpentine. They are still not absolutely consistent but they are getting better. We were mostly doing transitions and very short canters but I did ask her to hold it one time, past a short end and down the long side and she thought that was a bit excessive -- although part of that opinion was influenced by the guy working on the backstop. I still have to work a bit much at canter -- remind her to not lean, to hold herself up, to keep going, because she will still try all that, but just a bump here or there gets it pretty much.

After we did that, we went in the set up dressage arena to test ride the figure 8 that is at the beginning of T3. One never, ever rides circles that intersect at X so it is a very odd figure. It will take us a good amount of riding those circles to get them right.

Shawna was able to tell me that the coefficients on T3 are on the free walk and the stretchy circle. Effectively they are on both canters too in that you get two different scores for each canter -- one for the transition, one for the canter & figure themselves. This test probably doesn't have the thing in it she's best at -- trotting a straight line. She tends to fiddle with her head more trotting a circle. Well, it is our challenge. I guess I need to ask Cheri what helpful hints Lisa & Andre give for this test. I need to ask Lisa if I can come get a lesson. But not this week.

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