I picked up the ride on a new horse at Jacky's, which means I'm essentially back in full-time training just not on Kat. It's been awesome! Matheo is a really neat, steady personality who comes from hunterland so we're reshaping him into a "dressage horse".
I think I only rode today for like thirty minutes but they were intense, so I'm writing down my notes for future reference.
1. The walk must be forward. "Nothing hurts so why is he walking like he's 106?" And "get going, I'm sick of watching the grass grow" were notable comments.
2. I am now sitting too far back in the walk, but not yet far enough back in the trot and canter
3. I have a rogue left arm, my left elbow drifts forward and I drop the wrist
4. We did an exercise where I brought the trot down as far as I could and keep him trotting and then asked him to get very supple there, soft on both reins but keeping a good and round outline. As soon as he was supple in the little trot, we lengthened to a nearly extended trot and asked him to STAY forward but also get supple in both reins there. I do a ton of elastic band exercises with my horses but for whatever reason taking a lap or so to get them supple in the big/little trot just wasn't a thing I actually focused on. JM reminded me that the half half needs to soften the horse. (Duh. But these moments are good for me to like... Remember the basics)
4. We did a serpentine at the trot where the goal was to fit as many loops in as possible, mostly aimed at heightening his reactivity to the outside aids. We rode it quarterline to quarterline so that as soon as I'd turned off one outside leg it was time to pass him off the new outside leg. (Also keep forward here...)
5. We lengthened/shortened the canter, focusing on keeping my hands up and even, him soft in the bridle, and using a large circle to help him shorten.
6. We did a few one loop serpentines at the canter, wherein I learned that I shift my weight around too much and need to stay in the middle of the horse.
7. We did a few trot-halt-TROT transitions. I capitalize the second trot because she wanted him essentially leaping into the trot off my aids. I thought about this a lot and I think I'm allowing him to lean forward and shift to the trot rather than pushing from behind into the trot. I also hold too long with my legs.
8. Sitting trot. With the whip behind my back and through my elbows. It left a mark on both my arms:
Anyhow it was a good lesson and this is a neat horse and I'm sure I'll write more about him in the future.