During the recent lockdown my coach Belinda Trussell was riding Biasini, two days a week, to work on things she felt he needed a bit of training on. I was able to sit and watch her ride which was a good learning experience for me. One day Belinda was working on the very collected canter for the pirouettes. As she rode past me she said: “This is your next goal.”
She then took the reins of the double bridle into her right hand and rode a pirouette. With her free left hand she waved, a Royal wave, just like the Queen. She did this as she completed a lovely full pirouette. I spluttered in disbelief that she would think, even for an instant ,that this was something I could accomplish. Belinda saw my response and said: “If you get him up and light you will find it’s easy to do it. ”
I was not surprised to see Belinda do this. I have seen her ride her Olympic mount Anton, in their freestyle, and execute one handed quarter pirouettes in piaffe. The point of riding one handed it to display that the horse is light enough in the contact that only the bare minimum is required from the rider’s hands and the horse is in true self carriage.
But what about me doing it? Well, we are back in lessons now and I have had some good moments of lightness that have been more consistent than ever before. So there is hope. My next goal will be to achieve that on a consistent basis. The one handed full pirouettes will have to come later. However, asking myself at anytime in the ride: “Could I ride one handed and wave?” will be useful. If the answer is ‘no’ then I need to immediately do something about it.
Thanks to Lexi Bradbury for the featured photo.