|Warmed up with a quick hack in the sun. First day of T shirt weather for me, and hopefully the end of our rainiest winter/spring ever!|
Before I got on, EC instructed me to switch out the 'princess' roller ball spurs I normally use for my dressage lessons:
|Apparently, I am too 'nice' if these are my 'serious' spurs....at least with Bridget.|
And borrow these bad boys:
We moved on to some lateral work, leg yields in trot. They were a bit wiggly and wobbly until I remembered to insist on keeping that outside shoulder under wraps and her neck straight. We even changed the bend and got a few steps of lovely half pass! So fun. Like earlier, I'm starting to feel her hind end really sitting and working...so my ability to move the shoulders is much improved, and more than slightly addictive feeling! :)
Next, a tiny time out to do travers/renvers on the circle. This is my most hated exercise, because I am silly dumb about where all our parts need to be without a wall to help. The stars aligned, however, and we didn't dwell there too long, instead moving on to some walk pirouettes. I actually like riding these, because quarter/square turns were my go to for so long with the whole drifting shoulder thing that it's almost like we had a bit of a head start.
Finally, canter. So much canter. And, this was where I really started smiling. Bridget is starting to get some 'jump' in her canter, particularly to the right. It's starting to feel pretty fancy and maneuverable, and dare I say dressage like? Especially for the pony who wouldn't canter at all a couple of years ago!
|Pretty much us after our lesson . Photo from here :)|
Finally, the verdict on the spurs:
I was super paranoid about my leg while using these. Which is obviously a good thing for my nagging self. Combine that clarity with the added annoyance when I do tap her with them and we had a more responsive and honest pony than we generally do. I'm going to continue to keep these in my arsenal for the days when Midge 'doesn't wanna'.
I'm also pledging to be much more mindful with my leg. This was a great lesson for reminding me of the sort of response I should be getting with a minimal ask. Since Midge is a smart pony, I already switch between no spurs/different spurs frequently so as to not have her tuned out to any. I'm going try to work less regardless of what I'm wearing (or not), and enforce more. Especially now that I know she's capable of more!