I was scheduled for a dressage lesson, and had a choice of Ms Bridget or EC's super lovely warmblood mare. Call me crazy, but I chose Bridget - I've been having fun on the flat with her and feel like we're making huge progress lately. I don't feel like a few dressage rides on another horse are going to really make a magical difference in my riding that will transfer to my rides on B. (If only it were so easy! ;) I said as much to EC, and she agreed, so we'll save the rides I'm trading for jumping lessons where they (hopefully) will make a bigger difference.
On to Bridget...oh wow, does this pony continue to surprise. I'm not sure she'll ever be look-at-me fancy, but she is bringing 110% to every dressage lesson right now and is going super well. Exercise of the day: collect the trot, add haunches in, change bend to travers, then forward and straight into a lengthening. Repeat. Pony was right there with me, and it felt super amazing. Zero nagging on my part, she was up in front of me and ready to work. Up we went into canter, 20m circle with her positioned in shoulder in. She still struggles a little there with holding a balanced canter and moving her body around at the same time, but it's coming along very quickly now. Next up, large-ish walk piroutte into canter. As with trot, focus on collected, bigger steps with her inside hind up under her, think feeling like we are marching in place, then ask for canter. I was literally laughing out loud at how amazing that felt! Super cool, and what a fabulous pony to try so hard . I need to bribe someone to come video us...I'm hating the lack of media to be able to compare progress with.
Besides being fun to ride, I think the walk pirouette to canter is going to be really useful for me...it pretty much ensures I can't give the outside rein and let her run through in the transition, and it really sets the pony up well for a nice balanced canter. Hard to believe she's strong enough these days (and I'm coordinated enough!) for such things.
We ended there because it felt like we were capable of anything, and that's exactly the best place to end a ride :)
- Be super vigilant about having her stay balanced and round, particularly through transitions. Think bigger, rounder, and "more" than my current default happy place.
- Travers. Because we'll be wanting to introduce half pass soon.
-Be very aware of riding in a correct position on the flat, ditto in our jumping lessons. Help Ms B understand there is a difference in how I ride and how we want her to go for each. EC feels our jumping 'problems' are a somewhat normal phase and we'll be able to get back to a good place with a little work.