Last night's lesson was more of the same: in-hand to warm up, followed by shoulder-in at the walk, followed by lots of walk-trot-walk transitions in shoulder-in. This time, we ended with the same exercise she did at the clinic, which was adding a walk-canter transition out of the shoulder in across a diagonal.
|"Is that black thing in your hand edible?"|
We're continuing to explore this idea of do less. Here are some paraphased trainer quotes from last night:
- "You're too busy, sit still. Do less."
- "You eventually want to just position him in shoulder-in and let him carry it from there rather than constantly adjusting him. Ride with that goal in mind."
- "Sometimes you're too quick to correct him, and he gets flustered. Give him a split second longer when you feel him about to make the wrong decision before correcting.
[Cob Jockey in: three months ago I couldn't coordinate my aids fast enough to keep up with his errors. Learning to ride at this stage feels like learning advanced chemistry, where they tell you to "Forget everything you learned in Chem 1" on the first day.]
- "He's about to swing his croup in, guard it - no, you were too fast and too dramatic with your leg, now he's swung the opposite direction. Be tactful with your aids so we get less of this bouncing from side to side."
- "Don't immediately grab him if he doesn't come back to a collected walk fast enough after the trot. Ask for flexion, and wait with quiet aids, and he'll start coming back faster."
I always say I have to start my lessons yelling and I end whispering, and in a lot of my rides on my own (which haven't been great lately) I'm yelling the whole time. But last night, as soon as I sat still and whispered my aids, even when I didn't think he was ready for that, he became more sensitive in response. I still had speed control issues, but all of the rest of my aids could be soft and quiet.
It makes me wonder: am I causing my own "yelling" problem? Is the reason my rides on my own suck right now because I am not self-aware enough on my own to fix my position and my 'too loud' aids? Is he reacting to what I'm giving him, and if I gave him less right off the bat he would require less?
Probably. Good thing we're taking extra trainer rides/lessons this month!
|Boredom behavior: flapping his tongue around|