Well-trained horses on the other hand, are tricky because they JUST DO SO MANY THINGS ALL THE TIME.
For example, if I go all hunter/jumper and twist my seat strangely through a turn, preso! A canter I get.
And then, because I'm already perched a hair, and my seat isn't really coordinated, closing my fingers on the reins produces, like MAGIC, a smaller canter. And then I repeat, thinking "please just trot I'm supposed to be practicing my sitting trot" and I get an EVEN SMALLER CANTER.
At this point I had a bit of a peanut gallery and I was feeling thoroughly as if I'd never ridden before.
Egads though this horse was so cool to ride, despite my faint desire to rip my hair out.
The brakes, when I actually used my body like, you know, you're supposed to, were super neat. It sort of reminded me of how, although Tango does in fact do a downward transition when asked, he does not do downward transitions like a PSG horse.
The biggest difference is how well you can feel his back engage as he goes to halt. It's not just a quick halt, even though it is. It's controlled. It's the difference between scrambling to a halt and floating to a halt, even though they happen in the same amount of time.
I've jumped a lot since I last saw JM, and she was pretty displeased with how I was sitting, and kept having me sit more and more back. I swear to god I was so far behind the vertical that my ponytail was going to tickle Placidio's hindquarters.
I wanted to ask JM for a photo, but my abs were in so much pain that I was entirely distracted.
I did ride Tango later, and tried to replicate the feeling I got when I was sitting up the way JM wanted me to, and I've never gotten such great gaits from him. I will try to get photographic evidence to help prove to myself that I'm not just riding like a cowboy and leaning too far back.We did some leg-yielding and JM showed me how when I want more crossover, I for some bizarre reason resort to digging my heel into a horse's side, which causes the horse to tense up and get less crossover. So she helped me use my thigh and calf a bit more.
We did a bunch of ten meter circles and I got a very intense schooling on what is and is not a circle (listen kids, you are not the only riders in the world who struggle with this).
I rode a few canter-walk transitions. Apparently I am not asking for enough collection before asking for the downward transition, but admittedly I couldn't feel the difference in my body when I got it right. I'm pretty sure I did nothing different and Placidio guessed for me. Bless his heart.
JM, as I mentioned earlier, was displeased with my perching, and by way of education she got on for me.
God, I want to ride like that. I believe that with enough hard work and after asking enough people for help, I'll be able to get close to that. But she's a beautiful rider, and Placidio simply danced.
I'd kept pushing him forward during the warm up and JM had told me to cut it out, he's got enough shoulder action, but I didn't quite know what she meant until I saw her on him. Gorgeous horse.
And then I got back on, and did my best to ride like her, and I think it was improved. She swore at me a bit less :-P
I am so lucky to have the trainers that I do. Kat's got a very bright future with these giants standing behind us, pushing me to be a better rider every day.