I have written, in the moment, about how my riding has changed over the past five months, but I haven't taken a step back to really think about it until today.
Since April (the month Connor was in partial training), the way I ride has changed quite a bit. I've learned what it means to ride him with my seat in a way I've never known before. The whole way I approach the alignment of his body and why he's going badly when he's going badly and how to fix it has changed.
My default reaction to Connor being inverted (read: llama mode) right now (emphasis on 'right now') is:
1) Apply inside upper thigh to saddle to encourage correct bend/upright spinal processes.
2) Apply outside leg back to keep croup from traveling out even further than it probably already is.
3) Ask outside shoulder to step in front of his croup with and outside rein half-halt.
4) Ask jaw to soften with fingers of inside rein.
My default reaction has never been to start with my seat before, as much as I'd like to say that it has been. But it is now, and it's making a big difference in how quickly I can get him on my aids at the beginning of a ride. Just thinking "thighs!" on him causes him to lower his head and lift his back. It surprises me every time it works, but it does.
|The CWD is a surprisingly good Dressage saddle with the stirrups almost all the way out.|
Now that seat is somewhat sort of almost ingrained as a default aid, we're now working on my core. But that's a story for another post...