Thursday, May 21, 2009

Keeping it straight

Now that I'm taking three lessons in one night I'm starting to have problems remembering what I have to do with who. It was easy with one, not to bad with two, but with all three I think I'm forgetting things. So after my last lesson I came home and jotted down some notes.

5/18/09 lesson notes

Skyy - make steady uncompromising contact, but not pulling or holding. think elastic side reins and try to keep position consistent so he knows where I'll be. steady deep seat in canter. keep hips from drifting in on corners by controlling inside hind. work on canter departs and not letting him toss head in transition. also work on centerlines and halts. big improvement from last lesson

Kaswyn - canter half-pass left - losing positioning/bend, neck getting tight, and letting right hind trail. must get it under. exercise - half-pass across diagonal to quarterline, then walk in half-pass position and keep right hind stepping under. from that position canter and continue half-pass. very nice work on piaffe/passage.

Albert - canter loop - take more time to make turn. think 4-5 strides to do turn instead of 2-3. keep control of haunches on corner and don't let them drift to inside. trot half-pass left same problem as Kaswyn, except shoulders are moving too fast for right hind to keep up. must slow left side and not let him rush through left leg. left trot half-pass is good - nice and slow and relaxed. just rushing to left. keep positioning. fixing this will help issues in right lead canter, as he tends to leave right hind to inside and instead of reaching under he's propping it to inside and does not use right lower back. makes canter not fluid and not through back. exercise - renvers (haunches out) left going to the right. Better than travers right while going left.

I've been working on these things since the lessons. Skyy is making lots of progress. His biggest issues right now are balance and organization. Instead of having his hips fall in line behind his shoulders he sometimes whings a foot out to the side. He needs to be able to track all of his legs straight when he moves forward instead of scrambling all over the place. It's not terrible but it gets worse in the corners, so I'm really trying to help him there by hugging him with my legs to give him boundaries that he can feel.

I worked Kaswyn very lightly the day after the lesson because he felt a little sore and was due for a Legend shot. However, instead of Legend Dr. B said I should try Polyglycan. He says it's both Legend and Adequan in one shot, but it's cheaper than buying them both separately. I've read literature from the Adequan people who claim the Polyglycan does not work as effectively as Adequan, but I would expect them to say that! So Kaswyn got his first shot of Polyglycan. I'll ride him on Friday and hopefully I'll see a change for the better. Or at least not a change for the worse.

And Bert is just a star! He is so smart and willing to work it's wonderful. We've been working on the trot half-pass to the left and now it feels as good as the right. After he gets over his first reaction of "Something new!! Ahh! Panic!" and we work it out he just gets his head in the game and does his job. And even now those panic moments are getting shorter and shorter. My trainer said during his lesson "You know, after Nationals you're going to have to, you know, do something...", and I said "Yes, Second Level. I agree. We'll do something about that." He's already schooling shoulder-in, half-pass, and counter canter. By fall he'll be ready. Finally, at 17 years old he'll move on from Training Level! He could have done it before now but Susan just hasn't had the money to put him in training and I haven't had the time. The only thing that might be really challenging is the flying changes. I think we're going to have to take those slow and break them down as much as possible.

So the plan is to take all the boys to my trainer's place next Thursday for lessons in her big arena! I'm so excited! Susan has the day off so she's going to help me. I'll bring my camcorder and get some video if I can get someone to shoot it for me. I think all three of them will feel more free in the bigger space. I know Kaswyn does for sure.

Just about two weeks before the show! Let the stressing begin!

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