Do you remember Mary Murphy on “So You Think You Can Dance?” When she thought a dancer or pair of dancers were stunningly good she would do a Mary Murphy Whoop and shout “You’re on the Hot Tamale Train”.
This past week my horse, Biasini , has been on that Hot Tamale Train. The weather has been cold and he got a full body clip last weekend but I’m not sure what got him onto that Train! He would always start out quite sane and sensible and then once I picked him up and started into the work he would be absolutely Hot Hot Hot! This is my last week with coach Belinda Trussell before Biasini ships down to Florida. We had four lessons this past week. In all of them Biasini was electric. That was great but it showed up all the little holes in my riding.
When Biasini is hot like this he is very sensitive so my aids must be precise and clear and as delicate as possible. If my leg moves half an inch he will react, if my rein aid is two seconds too long he will react. What is the reaction? It could be an unasked for flying change or a burst of speed or just whatever comes into his head! For the first three lessons this “hot” horse was terrific to ride. Here is a video of the canter half pass work that we started last week on a straight line and here it is with the half pass included.
We also worked on the trot half pass. Biasini is grunting in this, not because he in distress but he wants us to know how hard he is working. You an hear me asking Belinda if she can hear him grunting and she says she can!
Finally on Friday, day four of lessons, we worked on the canter pirouettes. Belinda had a devilishly difficult exercise for me. Pirouette two steps, out two steps, pirouette two steps , out two steps, and repeat until you return to the starting point. Well……on Friday Biasini was absolutely on that Hot Tamale Train. If I moved my outside leg 1/8th of an inch…boom…a big flying change and you can’t do a pirouette in counter canter. Belinda would remind me to keep my legs quietly on and I would try again. Then Biasini decided he was not only sparkly but sassy as well and there were a few naughty moves.
Then Belinda got on. And he was pretty sassy with her too. But a rider of her level of skill and experience gets that sorted out pretty quickly. She got him listening to her and did the pirouette exercise beautifully. Then I got back on and worked through some easier pirouette exercises. To finish up we just did some trot around the arena.
So here he is……….the Hot Tamale Horse! This is the wonderfully expressive trot Biasini offers when he is the Hot Tamale. I just have to refine my riding to be able to make the most of it when he is on that train!