At the start of this week my coach Belinda Trussell said she wanted to make my horse, Biasini , more sensitive to the aids. She came up and took hold of my lower leg and demonstrated how light she wanted my leg aid to be. Let me tell you it was a feather touch! Then if I needed to give a kick it was to be as quick as a blink of the eye…on…off!
I looked at her and thought to myself that this was a level of finesse and subtlety that I had not ever thought I would be able to attain. I know that this is how Belinda rides. I can see it when I watch her. Her aids are almost invisible but so accurate and so effective. I doubted I could even come close but if Belinda thought I could do it then who am I to say no?
This also meant retraining Biasini to respond to these light aids. Belinda told me I would need to occasionally give him a tap with the whip to let him know what was wanted. A tap. Not a Whack or a Smack just a light tap. Biasini is a horse that is very sensitive to the whip. Only the lightest of taps would be needed.
This was on Monday. The lesson went well and I was amazed, shocked really at how well Biasini responded . Tuesday’s lesson was also very good. In this lesson I realized that Biasini had a spontaneous reaction to a light tap with the whip. Not the one I expected. I thought he would barge forward and pull me out of the tack. This has been his previous response. But now it was different. With a light tap of the whip he came up in the shoulder, and lighter in my rein contact. I never expected this! I felt like I was riding a big bounding beach ball. What a fabulous feeling.
Wednesday we continued and the response just got better. Biasini and I were both on a learning curve together. Belinda was pleased with two things.
1. My reaction time was fast and I was quick to correct Biasini if needed. This is something I have struggled with.
2. Biasini was responding with what Belinda said was some of the best canter work she has ever seen from him. We called it a day after a short lesson as this is hard work for Biasini and he deserved a lighter day.
After all this work he got a well deserved massage. Julie Tremblay the equine massage therapist said he did have some sore muscles in his glutes that was not usual for him but nothing to worry about. She agreed with me that this was a result of the work he had been doing.
He enjoyed his massage and his dinner afterwards. Today he had the day off!