Well….I’m back in the saddle again. After my episode in the ER and hospital I took it easy the first week and just went for a hack with Biasini in the forest. But this week I was back to lessons.
Monday My coach Belinda Trussell was merciful. We had a relatively easy lesson and I was happy to be back in training and back in the saddle again.
Tuesday Since I had survived quite well Belinda upped the ante. Back to our usual lessons and usual expectations. I had not really upped the ante in my riding however and I soon realized that I was not being quick enough and not riding 100% of the time. Belinda cannot be fooled and called me out on this. We finished on a positive note and I knew that the next lesson I would have to up my game!
Wednesday I knew from the moment I woke up that I was going to have to go into my lesson and Ride and Focus and Be Quick About It. Belinda told me she wanted to work on the canter; getting the right frame ( the shape of the horse and position of his head, neck and shoulders plus the engagement of his hind end). And she also wanted to work on the very collected canter and transitions from collected canter to very collected canter. Here is a video. You will see that I am getting the right frame until I turn to go across the ring on the diagonal. And then whoops…..his frame flattens out and he is “long”. Belinda then tells me he looks like a “hunter”. AWK! Dressage horses are NEVER supposed to look like hunters. No disrespect to horses in that discipline but the hunters have a low head carriage and necks lengthened and a long more drawn out frame. Not at ALL what a Prix St. George dressage horse is supposed to look like. Belinda knows that telling me Biasini looks like a “hunter” will get me going. You can hear my response on the video. That voice saying :”Oh my gosh! Well just shoot me now!” That’s me! The friend taking the video has a chuckle about it and so did Belinda. Take a look.
Having been told to “ride like hell” on the diagonal I did as I was told and….Success!
Then we went on to more of the same and Biasini was responding so well. Here is another video of the work we did to finish. I must stress here that this is not a perfect collected canter. But it is a big improvement for me ( an amateur rider) and my horse Biasini.
It is a real joy to be back riding and working at improving. If you have not followed my recent hospital drama here is a link to that blog post.