"The essence of forwardness is that the horse pushes off from the hind legs with long, powerful strides. He moves forward actively, rhythmically, with impulsion and without constraint or a continuous reminder to move on. There should be a feeling of energy flowing through the horse; he should surge forwards with long, ground-covering strides, but not with faster action. He will respond as soon as the rider gives him an aid, but he is not hurried." -Karin Blignault, pg 59 of Successful SchoolingThis has been the week of "I'm sorry, what bend?" with Tango. His figure-8s are a challenge right now. Our response to the inside leg is greatly diminished.
I believe it's because he hasn't really had 100% of my attention the past few weeks, what with my focus on Fresno with Bert and Danny.
It's gotten better over the past three rides. I think maybe the lack of work has gotten him a little stiff. He also fell down last week and I can still feel residual stickiness and hard muscles in his hindquarters.
Last night's ride was pretty good, I'm working on helping him balance properly through his trot-canter transitions because right now he says "nose to the ground and then PORPOISE oh wait okay I'll just canter" which isn't exactly my favorite set of maneuvers. He has this magic ability to get worse, and worse, and worse, and then the fourth time be totally perfect in every way. So I was sitting there thinking "jesus, I can't end on THAT but I'm going to get bucked off though if he does that again..." and so I cued for the canter and he sat really deeply and offered me a fairly collected, balanced, impulsed canter.
Ugh horses why do you frustrate me so.
Anyhow. Diva's coming along nicely and last night gave me a beautiful, quiet, cadenced canter. That came around a lot faster than expected! Her bending is also something we're going to have to discuss but she's 4 so she's got an excuse.
|I tried really hard to get a picture of the big ol dressage saddle plus the western bridle, but it didn't happen|
|Also look how cute my bedraggled horse is. I luff him.|