Before Belinda Trussell, my coach, left to compete in the Olympics in Rio, she gave me some homework. The canter. She got my phone and did two short video clips for me to study. The first was of the canter not being good enough. I’m going to spare you that one! Then a short video of me getting it right on a 20m circle. I was assigned the task of getting at least 30 seconds of canter videoed each week while she was away and comparing it to the video that she had taken. Here is the lesson video.
So the first week my husband David took two video clips: canter left and canter right. The left was ok but the right was not good enough at all. So I set to work on that and the following week had another video done of the right canter. You can see that I run into a recurring problem of an unasked for flying change. This is something that Biasini often does on the right. This is the side he finds it hardest to engage. He is routinely checked by veterinarian Usha Knabe who does chiropractic work on the horses. So I know he is not ‘out’. I know I have to keep my legs still. As Biasini is a somewhat ‘hot’ horse I keep my lower leg ‘on’ at all times and support firmly. I know I have to sit in the saddle and not shift my weight as either a leg movement or a weight shift could be interpreted by him as being asked for a change. I have examined those two things while Belinda was away and decided the changes were not cause by either of them. The other possibility is my bionic right arm. This too strong arm often sets his neck to the right. So this could be interpreted as a signal to change. Working on my own I paid strict attention to this and found that on the long side I never got the change. But on the circle I may have been allowing the bionic arm to take over a bit. Once I reminded myself of that I got the circle with no change! You will see it takes a couple of circles but then I get it.
This week I revisited the left canter with a video. Does it compare to the lesson video?
Next week I will be back to lessons with Belinda and she will undoubtedly let me know how she thinks I have done with my homework. The video is a useful tool . I usually find it hard to look at because I cringe looking at the things I am doing wrong. But it does let me know what needs to be worked on and what is going better than I might have thought.