It just goes on and on my friends! When coach Lou suggested a lesson on the lunge line I happily agreed. But this lunge lesson was not what I was expecting. He attached the lunge line to Biasini and also attached side reins. Then he took the snaffle rein, twisted it and tied it up under Biasini’s chin.
Here is a photo.
When I picked up the reins it was very similar to riding with the Tellington Liberty ring. There was no direct contact with Biasini’s mouth. Once we got going Coach Lou would ask me to move the knot ( as seen in the photo above) to the left or to the right or to move it up Biasini’s neck. As soon as Biasini would try to pull down I had to move the knot up under his neck. I immediately noticed this elicited a different response from me than what I usually do to get him up in the shoulder, neck and head. With this set up I would say “Stop” with my fingers and then release in an upward motion. It was remarkably effective. Here is some work at the canter.
SHORTEN THE REINS!
If Lou said that once he said it a hundred times in this lunge lesson. Is this the “short reins win gold medals” that SuperStar Dressage Rider Charlotte Dujardin speaks about? Well I’m not in that league but I did my best to shorten my reins.
OFF THE LUNGE
After what seemed like an eternity the side reins and lunge line were removed and the snaffle rein was unknotted. And then came the moment when I had to prove I had actually learned something! And if I thought the lesson was almost over I was wrong. It went on. And on! There is nothing more tiring for an old bod like me than grappling with a new muscle memory. It is both physically and mentally tiring. Finally, I said: “Is this lesson ever going to end?”
Coach Lou laughed and said yes. There are some mercies in dressage after all!
WAS IT WORTH IT?
Yes. It was worth it. Valuable information had been received and I actually asked to do another lunge lesson the next day. Here is a photo of Biasini and me in trot half pass that was taken a couple of days after the lunge line lesson. You can see his frame is nicely up. My reins are waaaaay toooo long but I’m working on that.