Last week, when I posted photos of my coach Belinda Trussell riding Biasini, one person commented that this was my silver lining. Yes! It is! Due to the Covid lockdown I may not be able to ride but having a rider of Belinda’s caliber ride my horse is a silver lining indeed. This week I got another chance to see Biasini and Belinda at work in the outdoor arena. Belinda started him in a stretching , but not too low stretching trot.
Belinda then picked him up for the canter work.
She went on to work on the canter half passes and zig zags. If you follow this blog you will know the zig zags are a challenge for me. The zig zag is a canter half pass (horse bends and moves sideways in canter), straighten, flying change and half pass in the opposite direction. Here is a photo of the left canter half pass.
The Zig Zag Problem and the Solution.
Belinda took a break and came over to let me know what she was finding with the zig zag. She told me that going to the left he was fine, quite soft and supple, but when she started to set him up for the flying change, to the right, he would be tight. He could do the change but, for the half pass right, he would be tight and would start to pull down and take over. Ah! Yes! I know that well. But I don’t discover I’m in trouble until I am in the half pass. Too late! Belinda explained that it was imperative to get the bend to the right before asking for the flying change. Then he would give her a good change and good half pass right. How did she solve this problem? She told me to take a renvers position before asking for the flying change. Oh! Renvers! I struggle mentally with Renvers. It’s a sort of left-right dyslexia with me. So I walked through it in my mind.
- I’m on the left lead.
- Ask for a renvers position. I am still on the left lead but asking for a bend to the right. And asking for him to be soft in his poll, his neck, his body!
- Once I have all that ask for the change.
- Nice change !
- Half pass right.
Easy peasey! This is why it is amazing to see a professional like Belinda ride my horse. He looks fabulous and she looks like she is just out for a nice ride in the park.
Belinda also did some tempi changes. Twos! Fabulous! Threes! Fabulous. I was so impressed I did not manage to take photos. I was just watching!
Before finishing Belinda went on to some trot work. She asked for the trot, then brought him back to the walk. asked him to be soft in the poll, trot, walk, trot, walk until the transitions were seamless and he was up and light.
To finish Belinda did Biasini’s favorite thing: the stretchy trot.
Watching this ride was a Covid Silver Lining! I learned a lot! I am inspired for when I get back to riding.
STOP PRESS! The provincial government has allowed riding facilities to re-open as long as they can maintain physical distancing and restrict numbers of people. I will update how Belinda and the staff will be arranging for that. Now for me the challenge is to get back riding and maintain all the good training Belinda has given Biasini.
I’d love to hear from you!