I am LOVING having two lessons a month. It’s the perfect rhythm for me, and we’re really making substantial progress. It also lets me stack good lessons. When I had weekly lessons, inevitably I’d hit one that just stunk. We hadn’t prepared, or we were burned out, or things just went sideways. That hasn’t happened yet with the two-a-month. We’re excited and ready.
So, this week, notes.
- I need to be better about getting him sharp off my transition aids, both up and down. Up, he gets one chance before I reiterate STRONGLY. Down, I need to communicate more clearly through my seat and then carry the energy forward into the next gait.
- My inside hand was a holy terror. It was possessed. Something horrible was going wrong, and I just could not freaking let it go. Almost physically. It was not pretty. I was convinced that if I gave at all on my inside rein Tris would spin off like a top and we’d slam into the fence. Which he does sometimes! So my concern was not entirely unwarranted, generally. Just in this specific situation.
- We worked a bit on my challenge of asking for forward, getting canter, and needing to work back into a trot. So really a lot of maintaining crispness in gaits regardless of what they were, and of transitioning back to what I originally wanted. Then we talked a bit about good resistance and bad resistance, and how holding him in a trot using my core can be a good kind of resistance.
- I need to work on my elbows: keeping then down and close to me, and also not allowing them to translate tension from my upper body and then into my forearm. I had a tendency to get locked up, starting with my shoulders and then progressing down.
- My inside leg is too far forward in the canter, and putting it where she wanted it to go felt WEIRD and then I got off and my hip flexors were so angry at me I just had to stand and whimper for a moment before I could walk. Note to self: stretching.
- But! Overall, it was really good. Really good. Long stretches in a punchy, collected, reaching, through-his-back, energized trot. And the ability to go in and out of it, and tinker with it a little bit. At its very best, it was a proper First Level trot. Now, we just need to sustain it, and then translate it into the walk and the canter.
- Barn manager also confirms that when Tristan really puts himself together he is the VERY MOST CUTEST. I really need to get media to show you all.