Ride the horse straight. Going down the long side with a wall on one side it can’t be that difficult. Right? Well, I find it is not so easy. I can stay on a straight line. That part is ok. But the tricky part is that the body of the horse must be straight. No hindquarters coming in off the track, no shoulders and neck coming in either. Straight!
For me the problem is Biasini likes to travel with his hindquarters in a bit. Just a little bit but if you train with a coach like Belinda Trussell then even a little bit is toooooo much! There are mirrors at the end of the arena and Belinda encourages me to look and see that Biasini is not straight. In a lesson last week I finally got him straight when Belinda told me to “think” the hindquarters out to the wall. It worked. I just need to remember to do that all the time!
This week we have been working on leg yielding in canter. This means I must have Biasini straight when we leg yield sideways: not shoulder leading and not hindquarters leading. Here is a short video to show you some of the work we have been doing. I think that for me the most important moment in this video is when Belinda says: “Think of the power he’s going to have when you have two hind legs pushing equally into the front legs.”
That power is the key of course. That is how we will get the cadence (air time) and the nice jump in the canter with the shoulders up stride after stride. Riding the horse straight may not be so easy, at least not for me, but it is a necessary step in our training.