The bulk of my lesson on Thursday was spent on two things: counter canter, and bend.
|So cute. Much mud.|
We started out with a bit of the spiral in and spiral out through the half pass, and it just wasn't working too well, so my trainer seamlessly switched gears to what I assume is an exercise that she thought of to fix the things that she saw were not working. It is kind of amazing that she can so subtly switch gears in a lesson like that without calling us out.
We moved onto "pick up the counter canter on the quarterline and think about moving toward the outside rail" i.e. thinking about half pass in the canter. It took about one trip of that for Connor to get into super Dressage horse mode.
|Horse is totally blanketed to the 9's, and yet, I still have to chisel him out from under mud on every exposed surface.|
Sometimes it was my fault, I didn't set him up as thoroughly as I could have. Sometimes it was his fault, and despite my best effort, he picked up the right (wrong) lead anyway. But he only missed the lead a few times, because generally I could feel when things were going sideways and just wouldn't ask for it unless it was right.
Toward the end, we switched to picking up the counter canter on the centerline, then turning toward the correct lead's direction and doing a half 10m circle back to the rail. It required so much preparation that I totally did not give him the first time, and I buried him. He did it, but it was scrambly. Every other one was good after that though.
|Gratuitous photo of Dog #1 (at a very unflattering angle - promise he's not overweight) trying to get husband to feed him.|
I am beginning to see a theme as the work gets more advanced - we need more preparation.