I could call this post the “Coaches Conference” or the “Passing of the Baton”. But I chose “Double Whammy” because I thought it was the one that fit the situation best. At the end of this week Biasini will get onto the transport and ship home to Ontario. The day after he leaves my husband and I will hit the road north. Today my coach from home, Belinda Trussell, came to watch my lesson with my Florida coach Lou Denizard.
I am really very fortunate that my two coaches communicate very well. Before I came down to Florida Lou was visiting Canada and came to see me have a lesson with Belinda. Now that my time in Florida is coming to an end the ‘baton’ (Biasini and me) is passed back to Belinda.
Two coaches. Two coaches watching and observing and discussing. One…Lou… giving me instruction and the other….Belinda….watching. In the breaks they would discuss what was going on and how Biasini and I were doing. So how did it go?
I warmed up and then we began with some routine work of canter haunches-in on the circle in both directions. Then on to some work on the passage (slow motion trot) with Lou coming alongside me to assist and encourage Biasini. This was followed by some trot shoulder in on the long side of the arena.After that some work on the canter half pass. First half pass to the quarter line of the arena and a 15 meter circle, then half pass to the centerline and a 10 meter circle then straight on the centerline. Once we had that then it was half pass the entire width of the arena.
How did I feel it went?
I was happy with most of the work. The shoulder in is a work in progress at the moment. We have been able to do decent shoulder in for a couple of years but the ante has been upped as in the Intermediare 1 test we must do it on the centerline. So Lou has been addressing my problems with that. I cannot use the inside rein for getting the angle. He calls that “mouth reining”. I also have to make sure I have enough angle and create it without loosing the quality of the trot. So at the moment the shoulder in is a bit here and there. I get it, loose it, get it, loose it. But I know that with time we will get it consistently.
How did they feel it went?
Both Lou and Belinda were happy with my riding. Belinda told me that both of them were most pleased with how I made quick corrections. That’s what it’s all about really….making quick corrections. Also, Belinda said that now, for the whole ride, I have Biasini “closed up”. This means he is not long in his frame. Upper level dressage horses should be round in their top line as Biasini is here.
A different picture from an upper level jumper who is much more open in the body frame.
So I was pleased that I have achieved that “closed up ” frame with consistency in my riding. Belinda also said that I had many moments where I really got Biasini’s shoulder, neck and poll (the point between his ears) up. I still do not have this consistently throughout the ride but she told me that she was happy that when I lost it I immediately corrected it and could get it back. This is something we will continue to work on when we get home.
It was a good lesson and I was pleased that I did not feel I had let either of my coaches down. So the Double Whammy was a positive experience for all concerned.