Last week my coach Belinda Trussell took a video of me riding down the long side in shoulder-in, turning onto the centerline to half pass left. When I watched he video I was shocked! For the first two or three strides of the half pass I was tipping over to the right. Whaaaat? We were doing half pass left. Why was I leaning to the right? I corrected it but honestly, what was I thinking? I am amazed that Biasini would even attempt the half pass to the left with me leaning like that .In the lateral movements the rider puts their weight on the side of the direction of movement. The horse moves underneath the rider to maintain balance.
This week we worked on some exercises that do not involve bending. The leg yield is one such exercise. The horse moves with his body straight. The rider’s job is to keep him moving sideways but with a straight body; no shoulders leading or quarters leading. Here is a short video of a trot leg yield.
So I managed to “Straighten up!” In our next lesson we worked on some canter transitions, forward to medium canter, back to collected canter. I had to keep Biasini’s frame constant, no dipping down, no loosing the hind end activity and quickness. Maintain that frame! Fly Right! Here is a video of ten strides forward and then ten strides back. When Belinda asks if I can give she is asking me to give both reins for a stride but keep my leg and seat on. This is the test to see if Biasini will maintain the frame without the rein contact. He did!
When we finished the lesson I felt that I had come in with a “straighten up and fly right ” attitude and it had helped. Biasini did so well and I was very proud of him . I would like to think he was proud of himself.
And the phrase “Straighten Up and Fly Right” comes from a 1940s song.
*Featured photo by Carmen Franco taken last winter at White Fences equestrian.*