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Friday, June 18, 2010

Left-side angst

I had a great lesson last night. Ryan came out to the barn last night for lessons and my friend Andi was able to come out with her mom. We are really working on a new level of connection with Gramarye. Ryan gave me some new exercises, which of course took me a while to figure out what the heck he wanted me to do! As a side note, it amazing me how many exercises Ryan has up his sleeve. I would think that after working with him for so long, he would run out of things that are new... as a kudos to Ryan, he is a true professional in his work, he is continuously learning and always bettering himself as a rider and trainer. I really cannot say enough good things about him. If I had the money to sponsor him a fantastic big tour horse, I would do it in a heartbeat as I think he is just as good as Edward Gal- Ryan just needs a Totilas and I need to be a Vissar:)

At the show, we had trouble keeping the connection with the hind legs, especially in the medium trot. Gram tends to get out behind, and I am not setting her up properly. So last night we got two new exercises to practice:
1. Piaffe Square- Basically turn down the center line, at I shorten the stride, and make a 90 degree turn left towards the rail, maintain short stride and think almost like a piaffe pirouette, turn back towards center line. When approaching the center of the ring, turn right back on the center line and send the horse forward. We mirrored this in the other direction, sometimes from the same center line. It seemed to help her with her balance and to engage under instead of pushing out from behind. My attempt at drawing is directly to the left of this write up.
2. Controlling haunches on the diagonal line- Basically, this exercise is specific to our problem when crossing the diagonal line from the left to the right. I lose her hind leg, and her medium becomes uneven since her hind leg is so far behind, it had to travel that much further than the other. So I need to think smaller trot into the corner, might a tighter turn to the diagonal, all while pushing the haunches to the left without allowing her whole body to drift.

So apparently at Silverwood, Ryan noticed my funny habit with my left side. Anyone that has read my posts knows that my left elbow is the bane of my existence. That darn elbow has a mind of its own. Also, something funny happens when you go from riding in a double bridle, and taking a few years off, and then return into a snaffle especially if you already have issues like me :) My left pinky has forgotten its job! It separates and sticks straight out. He also noticed, that my left hand is opening and staying open to the left. I think my biggest mental block, is to try not to hold Gram ever! My Willy, who I love dearly, got to be very heavy. In my effort to avoid this with Gramarye, I have of course over compensated. Instead of maintain a nice contact, I am opening my entire hand and sticking my pinky straight out! I will work on these and hopefully by the end of the summer I will correct. Then that will allow me plenty of time to pick up more bad habits while Ryan is in Florida :)

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