Thursday, 31 March 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Friday, 25 March 2011
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Monday, 21 March 2011
Sunday, 20 March 2011
I would experiment "within" your own body. To soften your own spine and sit with
Feel, more smoothness, when landing deeply, taking time, without "hitting" down
on his back.
Try this as a start, and feel and focus on how the horse responds of this little
change (albeit an important one), feel how he uses his back to join in with
yours. He may slow right down, even walk, but do not kick him forward, just
gently ask for a soft trot again. etc. That would be my first stage, allowing
this feel of this more supple back of yours to spread throughout your whole
body, to the lower legs and hands, but this is a later stage.
First I would be careful of being more aware of the "back of your body" to allow
the horse's energy to pass through you, never mind if things are untidy for now.
When making a change, I would wait for some time for the horse to respond.
He may not respond immediately, as he is "used" to move with the "old" you and
may have to think a bit of what is going on. :)
In short, smooth yourself and do much less if you can. Let the horse do the
movement and focus on going with him, for the moment, till you get your "inner
feel" more relaxed and more established.
Saturday, 19 March 2011
5mins but I do have the benefit of seeing the horse directly in front of me.I
did see some irregularities in the horses paces and also the pelvis of the horse
did drop on one side more then the other. The horses paces were very earthbound,
the impulsion from the hindquarters was poor, the horse was not working over his
back and he was on the forehand. However the rider showed that she had an
understanding of arena craft and from what I could see the horse did appear to
be accepting the contact. The level the horse is competing at may be slightly
different to the levels down under but I would say that he would be competing at
At Preliminary level in Australia the National Equestrian Federation states that
purpose of a Preliminary level test is to confirm that the horse's muscles are
supple and loose and that it moves freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm,
accepting contact with the bit.
In the working trot I would expect to see good hock action with the hock lifted
clearly up and forward, unfortunately on the video I did not see this.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
My wretched broadband is crap at the best of times but has been partivcularly
erratic tonight. Have only so far managed to download a few secs, but you are
behind the movement in rising trot, and looks like you may be slightly crooked.
You need to allow your upper body to incline more forwards from the hip in
rising trot ( only time this should be the case)-you are too upright- in order
that the pelvis can move forwards and back on an equal arc'.
Will try to download more tomorrow.
by the few fleeting seconds that you are closer to camera!
Definitely behind the movement in rising trot. As I said in the earlier post, I
would ask you to incline your upper body slightly forwards from the hip as you
rise, but even more especially in the sit phase. If the horse has big movement,
the impetus of the stride will bring your torso upright in the rise phase, but
it should be the horse's movement that determines this, not you. The whole point
of rising trot is to relieve the horse's back of weight and to make trot less
tiring for the rider. If you are having to thrust your pelvis in order to keep
your body upright throughout the phase of the stride, you will be using a lot of
unnecessary energy, and also if you are not quite in sync, causing the horse to
slow down. This will then cause you to have to use more leg, which you are
having to do by the look of it.
The use of the leg is too obvious, and slightly backwards kicking in movement. I
would correct this by asking you to think of lowering your little toe, and in
doing so, closing your calf muscle momentarily and then releasing again. In this
way, you retrain your legs to use the inside of the calf in a very subtle way
which is not even visible to the onlooker.
Your horse's walk is in danger of being two time, in fact is, in a few strides.
Which test was this, and which walk was this meant to be?
In canter, partly because the horse is on his forehand, you are not able to
adhere softly to the saddle, so your butt is slightly leaving it and slapping a
bit heavily on landing. This will not help the horse to lift his back and will
add to his being on the forehand- a bit of a vicious circle really.
If you refer to the clip I posted earlier in this thread of me working with the
simulators, have a look at the canter one, which shows and describes the
'backwards circle' made by the pelvis, pivotting on the seatbones, which is the
correct absorption/synchronisation of the movement with the horse, in canter.
Actually it is more of an ellipse than a circle, but a student said to me a few
months ago, 'Is it a vertical ellipse, or a horizontal one?. Wow, I hadnt even
thought of that! The more collected the canter, the more vertical the ellipse,
the more extended, the more horizontal the ellipse. Fascinating yet so simple!
So if we could get you absorbing your horse's movement more correctly and more
softly, he would be encouraged to lift his back and forehand and make it more
comfortable for you too- win, win situation! I would do this in the same way as
I suggested in an earlier post, lots of transitions, preferably walk to canter
if your horse does it, and maybe 8-10 strides, back to walk, or trot if the
canter walk is not yet established. Walk again, back to canter, and so on. I
would be doing a fair bit of rein back to trot too, to get him more up off his
shoulders. This would then help the canter.
Be VERY careful NOT to tip forwards on the first beat of canter- this is so
common, and sets up a sort of pendulum swing of the shoulders for the rest of
the canter which is hard to correct. The lower back has to flex as part of the
backwards ellipse of the pelvis. This shortens and lengthens the spine by the
same amount that the horses back is rising and falling, and allows total soft
adhesion to the saddle with the shoulders staying very quiet and almost still.
Hope this helps!!
I would ask you to incline your upper body slightly forwards from the hip as you
rise, but even more especially in the sit phase.
Sorry, meant to elaborate on this. By coming back to the saddle with pelvis
slightly inclined forwards, you are ready to receive the forewards and upwards
push of the horse, rather than having to make this or contribute to it, at
least, yourself. If I ride the simulator and get the student to place their hand
under the back of the saddle, and rise to the trot returning to the saddle
pelvis upright, the hand is squashed. If I try to return to the saddle upright
by strongly controlling my descent, I end up behind the movement and the maching
starts to go out of sync, and I then have to thrust the pelvis forwards and back
to catch it up again.
If however, I land with my pelvis slightly in advance of the vertical, the
student barely even feels me touching down in the saddle, the momentum takes my
pelvis forwards again and I have to do almost nothing. This is the whole point
of rising trot, to make it less effort for both horse and rider. I have so often
transformed a 'lazy' horse in trot, simply by getting the rider to incline
slightly more from the hip- horse just says 'thank you very much, now I can
move' and the trot transforms.
I expect I will have a lot of disagreement over this from other experts, but all
I know is, it works for every rider I teach. One of the first things I noticed
in Anja Beran's book was that she taught RT exactly as I do.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Monday, 14 March 2011
Friday, 11 March 2011
- I am unaware of my left leg flapping away, when I think it is still it is active. If I look at it I can get control of it.
- On left rein, struggle to canter right lead. Can do it from a forward seat, need to think about sitting an weighting down my legs. Toes up.
- I like an age to prepare, but what exactly am I doing? This is a habit. I will learn new behaviours.
- Left leg
- Quick transitions
- Toes up
- Watch the right rein
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Monday, 7 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
This morning did not start well had to rush to the loo and not sure which end to point first :-( then had a bit of a miscommunication down the yard. I was trying to be supportive but failing to deliver that message :-(
By now the sun had come out and I'd removed the obligatory pony mud pack and dragged Chorrie blinking into the sun.
Got on and started warming up and Clare arrived, got chatting about last Sunday and this coming Sunday.
My goals for Sunday are to do my warm up plan, so need to be on board in time, and to ride with connection. The only opinion that matters on Sunday is Chorrie's.
Talked about not riding at marker but towards and past marker.
Worked on improving my seat in canter, Clare had a brief sit on and said he is getting lighter in the rein :-), to overcome the tendency I have to collect him. Experimented with what I needed to do to achieve working canter.
The current feel for me is to have the chest open and up and to feel slightly sat back and that improves the canter :-)
Excellent lesson and in the sunshine