Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The light bulb goes on

On Sunday I rode Kaswyn after riding Fire, and I was marveling at how both Fire and Albert just go forward with no leg and that I'm always pushing Kaswyn. Then it hit me - my trainer had told me during my last lesson that if Kaswyn is ignoring my left leg that I need to take it off of him so he doesn't become numb to it. I realized that I've made my horse behind my legs by always pushing him and keeping my legs on. Now he doesn't go unless I'm squeezing him forward all the time. This is not how it should be. He needs to willingly go forward without me pushing all the time.

Kaswyn didn't used to be this way. I used to have to be very careful about how much leg I used, very similar to Fire and Albert. But somewhere along the way I kept increasing my legs and Kaswyn just got used to them being there.

So, to fix this, I took my legs off and used my voice and little whip taps to get Kaswyn moving. At first he would slow down as soon as I stopped clucking or tapping, waiting for my leg to come on. But he's a smart boy and soon figured out that I wanted him to go even with my leg off. By the end of the ride I had my legs mostly off and was riding very lightly with my seat. It was wonderful, and I'm excited to work on this again.

However, I'm only going to be able to ride once this week. All three boys got their teeth done yesterday, and Kaswyn and Albert will be getting their feet done on Friday, so Thursday is my only ride day. My plan is to ride Saturday and Sunday to try and make up for it.

Oh, and I think Kaswyn and Albert will be going to one more show this summer before Nationals. I need scores for Albert, but I figure if I'm going to be at the show already that I should just take Kaswyn too. I need to practice the new Fourth Level Test 3 test at a show. I read it over and it looks like a bit of a bear. I just have to ask for a Friday off to go to the show. Fridays are not a good day to ask to take off, so I'll have to see what my boss says. And I have to get the money together for the show. That's never the fun part!


Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Memorizing those dressage tests is HARD. Just when we think we have them down . . . those show jitters can set in . . . oh, boy..

Good luck with the show season! ;-)

Have fun.

The Mane Point


Katie said...

Hmm thats a very good point! I will have to keep that in mind next time I school :)

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