I am now back doing the warm up phase on Biasini and then I hand over to my coach Belinda Trussell. While I would like to be doing the whole ride myself it is really a wonderful experience to see my horse , Biasini, ridden by someone of Belinda’s skill and mastery. It is an absolute joy and I am so very proud of my horse , how he works for Belinda and how spectacularly good he looks when she is riding him. I watch and think: “Wow! that is MY horse!”
Belinda works on different things each day; one day trot work, next day some canter exercises and then another day some movements from a test. Here is a short clip at the end of a session of trot work. I love how his trot is floating and light.
Another day Belinda worked on the canter and played with doing some one tempis ( changes of lead every stride). She told me she did not want to rehearse and rehearse this as Biasini would start to get wired up and then make a mistake and then be upset because he knew he had made a mistake.
Yesterday she worked on some of the movements in the Intermediare 1 test. This is the test I am planning to do in Florida over the winter season. Belinda practiced some of the movements and then went from the start of the test through the trot tour and then the walk tour of the test. The temperatures have been arctic as you can see by the frost on the arena mirrors and windows. Belinda is wearing a helmet cover that doubles as ear muffs and scarf for this weather.
It is inspiring to watch Belinda ride Biasini. I do not, for a minute, think I can ride like that but that does not matter. Belinda is a very experienced professional and an Olympian and it is inspiring for me to see how well Biasini can execute the movements. After she finished Belinda went over some of the movements in the test and told me how I needed to ride them. For example, as soon as she turns down the centerline into the shoulder in Biasini wants to pull. So it may look like she is just sitting there looking elegant but a lot is actually going on. Before the corner a half halt (for those of you who do not ride a half halt can be as little as lifting up your abdominals and as much as putting on your lower leg and working with your fingers to create forward movement but not allow the horse to just flop out in front). Then when riding in the corner another half halt and then ….half halt, half halt, half halt, as you turn onto the center line. That’s a half halt every single stride on that turn. Belinda’s aids may be invisible but I can see how Biasini lifts himself up in front, carries himself and turns lightly onto the angle for the shoulder in.
I can’t wait to work on these things myself when I get to Florida! Biasini leaves next week and I will be following right after Christmas.
*Featured image (c) Connie Gee*