Junior has been around the farm for a while, probably about a year and a half, and he's mostly been teaching lessons during this time. He's gone on some trail rides, hopped over a few jumps (although an old injury prevents too much jumping), and taught a large number of kids to stay attached to their outside rein.
I've been really enjoying riding him though, and I have high hopes for him this next year. It turns out when you stifle the 'school horse' side and foster his inner fancy warmblood, he's a lot of fun!
In no particular order, a few notes from yesterday's lesson:
- On the hollow side (his right side) you have to prevent overbending. But also keep bending. But also keep a connection to the right rein. This is harder than it sounds.
-I have to post a littler higher, slow the tempo down, and then once he lets go through his body a little better, I have to add energy without increasing the tempo.
-In the transition to the canter, I have to try not to do so much with my outside leg and instead support more with the inside leg, right now I'm twisting my body around too much.
-In all transitions, I have to feel my way through them -- this means no launching the reins at him, no falling on the forehand into the walk/trot, you actually have to move forward through all transitions it turns out.
-Tracey was talking about compressing him from the inside-leg-to-outside-rein and then allowing him to fill up when I decompressed, and the image stuck with me but to be honest I'm not sure I fully understand what she wanted from me yet
-I have to stack my upper body up better in the walk, the trot, and the canter. Okay all the time I have to hold my upper body steadier.
-In a long-rein break, I can't let him just do whatever, he's still got to move somewhere and start to get the idea of keeping his back up. Tracey described it as he needs to soften the tone in all his muscles on a break, not switch to working the under-neck.
I have so many thoughts about these lessons that it's actually hard to write any sort of bullet-pointed-list, I think I'm too fuzzy on some of the concepts still.
Anyway, to combat that, have a fuzzy video of the last few minutes of my very sweaty steed and an equally tired rider.