Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's getting easier....

Rhythm and I had our second lesson tonight, since his injury, in November. He felt great and is definitely getting stronger. Between Rhythm and Rheiny's rehab I have been spending a lot of time in the saddle walking on a loose rein. Since I've had so much time on my hands I have been working on cementing my position especially working on my leg position so that I am not riding with such a loose knee and my toes pointing out. It's getting a lot better!!! I can feel that it is easier to keep my leg in a correct position and I'm really glad that I have been able to improve something even with the "down" time.

One of the biggest things we worked on tonight was not allowing Rhythm to slam his body around to get out of work and to get him to start bending around my leg through his ribcage. Since he is such a large horse his evasion technique tends to be to out-muscle his rider. It has been really eye opening to me to see how strong I really have to be in order to shut those ideas down. One of the main places I normally feel him throw his body around is when I pick him up from a loose rein walk to a working walk. I need to be more aggressive and insistent, shutting down his escape routes.

Tonight we got our best traver work yet. It's certainly not great at this point but it's a lot better than what we got in my last lesson. We were actually able to do a shoulder in down the wall, with a 10 meter (or slightly larger) circle in the middle of the arena, before continuing down the wall in traver. I was actually surprised that we got a sort of decent traver from it. One of the biggest reasons we have been struggling with it is because Rhythm does not want to bend through his ribcage and is falling against my inside leg when trying to execute the traver. We are definitely making progress and will continue to chip away at it. We did a little bit of canter work tonight as well and had some really nice lengthenings. On another note, I have been walking/running on the treadmill a few days a week and I noticed tonight that my fitness plan is paying off. I didn't get nearly as tired during my lesson and could have kept going.

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