VCBH: Right Here Right Now


What are you currently working on in your rides or lessons?

1. Relax the pony, first and above all else.
2. Engage the pony, especially the inside hind.
3. Figure out the relationship between what my body is doing and what his body is doing.

#3 is the coolest.  For example, at Penny Oaks, my trainer told me to counterbend Connor in warmup and I couldn't make it happen, and I said in frustration "I CAN'T!!!!".  So in my lesson last week, she explored the relationship of these things: a) Connor likes to travel diagonally, with his weight on his outside shoulder, b) I ride with my right leg braced and heel jammed so far down my foot sometimes falls asleep, and my left side collapsed.

A + B = a pony that feels like he can't counterbend on the left rein because he doesn't know how to move his weight off of his right shoulder because I'm not allowing his left side to come through because the combination of my braced right leg and collapsed right ribcage make it feel impossible.  I relaxed my right leg and sat up on the left side and he counterbent like he was made of butter.  Whoa.

Lessons lately start with bend/counterbend on a loose rein, then progress to shoulder in/shoulder out on contact, then canter work.  By the time we've done all that engagement stuff, the canter work he gives me is sit-down-and-push-through-from-back-to-front awesome, and often leaves me laughing with delight over feeling things I've never felt before.


This, oddly enough, is the best picture I have of his sit-down canter transitions right now.  This is an upward transition.

11 comments:

  1. Truly upward transitions feel soo cool.

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    1. I know! I mean, I didn't know until very recently, but oh man. They are wild!

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  2. That picture is beautiful!! When those transitions don't work, they are ugly and terrible, but when they do work, its all worth it :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes. I have to learn to really set up for those types of transitions and not rush it just to get it, because he can do it.

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  3. Trainers that can break things down like that are awesome! You are lucky. :)

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    1. I definitely don't take her for granted, she's incredible.

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  4. Biomechanics is one of the coolest things to see/feel in action. It is something I emphasize with my students, with the oft-repeated mantra of "the horse mimics the rider."

    That said I am putting miles on my four year-old under saddle and getting her broke to drive. My Fjord mare I plan on getting jumping and reminding her how to drive. And the rest of the crew just needs tune-ups and reminders after being under students.

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  5. Woah your trainer sounds awesome, and that photo of Connor's upwards transaction is SO cool! Such a good looking horse!

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