Just in case you are hoping for some Olympic level gossip I will stop you right here. This is not about that. Last Friday, my coach Belinda Trussell, a two time Olympian for Canadian Dressage and Megan Lane also a Canadian Olympic dressage rider were at Belinda’s Oakcrest Farm. They both represented Canada in Rio 2016 and also at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC in 2018.
Belinda was riding Farley, a horse she has in training, and Megan was her “eyes on the ground”. Megan had brought one of her horses to ride and then Belinda would be her “eyes on the ground.” It was a cold day and the arena windows were frosted but there was much for me to listen to!
I was riding at the same time as Belinda. I did, of course, ask if this was OK and Belinda said yes. So there I was, riding Biasini in the arena, with Belinda riding Farley, and Megan giving her some helpful pointers. So what did I hear?
Megan made a suggestion to Belinda about something she could do to help improve Farley’s movement in the corners. She said that Belinda should start to instigate this before she got to the corner; two or three strides before the corner. Ah Ha! I have some issues with Biasini in the corners. I tend to not have enough bend and also loose some impulsion. Hearing what Megan said I realized I needed to start to prepare for two or three strides before I reach the corner. How to do that? First, make sure my inside leg is ready to keep the bend. Second, go into the corner with support from both legs to maintain the impulsion.
WIND IN THE SAIL
Belinda and Megan had both ridden for Robert Dover in a recent clinic here in Ontario. Megan had particularly liked a mental image he had given her. When you are riding you should feel like there is wind in the sail carrying you forward. This is the feeling when the horse is moving forward freely, ready for you to ask him to do something. When Megan told Belinda about this image it spoke volumes to me. Biasini is a forward moving horse but sometimes he takes to pulling. That might rip the spinnaker right off the ship. To feel the wind in the sail means there is not pulling but gliding freely over the water. Sailing!
I did not have a chance to watch Megan ride her young horse as I had to get Biasini cooled off and ready for his afternoon meal. But nonetheless I felt I had two gems to take away with me and apply to my own riding.
I do not have any photos from the lesson but here are photos of Belinda and Megan riding for Canada in the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC. in 2018.