That Goldilocks bend!

“One millimeter more bend. Keep the activity! And the bend! ” These are the words of my coach Belinda Trussell during my lesson on Thursday this past week. One more millimeter? Not too much, not too little, just the perfect amount of bend. Just like Goldilocks’ porridge the bend has to be just right. It was my first lesson back since I injured my lower back. It went well and I suffered no ill effects. But I did feel a bit like I had lost some of my effectiveness. What did we work on? Transitions.

  • Canter walk -Walk canter.
  • The depart from walk to canter had to be electric and immediate on the lightest of aids. If it was not then I had to give a swift kick! Then repeat and see if Biasini had learned how the depart had to be performed.
  • Then in the canter come back from 7 mph to 6pmh, all the while maintaining the bend, the roundness of the neck, the poll the highest point and the lightness in the rein contact . If I felt all that was secure transition to walk.
  • In that transition to walk I must keep his frame the same . No dipping down or pulling on either rein. The walk must be active and ready to depart to canter.
  • Trot -walk-walk-trot.
  • The walk must be active and the contact light and balanced, no pulling or diving down. The bend must be consistent. If it was not enough I must find just another millimeter of bend! Not more, not less.
  • The transition to trot must be seamless, no loss of frame . I must keep the trot active while asking for more bend or more roundness.
  • The transition back to walk must also be seamless. The bend and the frame must remain the same. No loss of activity!
  • I had not forgotten how important the details were in lessons with Belinda but it was a step up again after three weeks of only riding Biasini for walking hacks or a 10 minute warm up before Belinda got on . Here is a video of Biasini and me going to the right in walk, trot transitions . I noticed something interesting in the downward transitions . The first clue that he was going to drop his back and loose the frame would come from him taking hold of the right rein. This was different than when we were going to the left. To the left the first thing I would feel was his back hollow out below my seat when I asked him to come back to walk.

Details! Millimeters!

Never a dull moment in dressage lessons with Belinda! Always something new to learn and work on!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Prior... says:

    Also – I thought o you and Diana when we were at the art museum last weekend – they had some fun horse statues – here is an example

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior... says:

    Belinda seems to be a great trainer – and enjoyed the video and sending god vibes you way as you continue to strengthen πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are right Belinda is a great trainer. I am lucky to be able to train with her. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Prior... says:

        πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

        Liked by 1 person

  3. firnhyde says:

    You inspire me! It’s good to hear that riders at the higher levels like yours are also working on the same things that we are – trot-walk-trot, canter-walk-canter, rinse and repeat. Slowly and with the basics, I’ll get somewhere too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The basics are always what we need to master no matter what level. I think we always find ourselves as riders coming round to them again. And each time we maybe farther up in the spiral of training and be looking for finer details in the executions but it it is still the BASICS! Thanks so much for your comment. You will get somewhere ! Never doubt it!

      Like

  4. Diana says:

    You are so inspiring and I know how hard you work. I do love Belinda’s sweet voice and her lessons that you share a piece of with us and it’s so kind you share your videos. Thank you and I’m so happy you have healed well. ❀️🀠

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Diana. I’m so glad you like the videos. I sometimes feel nervous putting them out onto social media because I am a rider with some visible defects . But I think that there are lots of other older riders who could see me and get some ideas. Belinda is being very nice to me at the moment as I’m coming back from injury. I appreciate that! Sadly I have had a setback this weekend .But I have an appointment with my physio tomorrow so she will get me sorted out!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Alli Farkas says:

    Ah yes, canter to walk. Not sure I will live long enough to get there but I have seen it so I know it can be done. I have one of those diving-into-it monsters. She’s slowly improving though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Way to work that mm, looks so awesome Biasini & you. I am so glad your coach has a sweet voice as for sure you must hear her voice in your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes I do hear Belinda well. She has a microphone that broadcasts her voice on speakers in the arena. But even when I am riding on my own I can still “hear” her voice telling me things.πŸ˜€ Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One millimeter! Not too much and not too little ☺️ this is perfection 🐎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Ribana. It is a quest for perfection but in reality it is a practice .

      Liked by 1 person

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