July 31, 2015

Strange Recipe for Straightness

My last couple of lessons have been focused on the alignment of Connor's body.  She's teaching it to me in a strange way, and we're getting things done, but it's not something I would have thought of on my own.  I'm hoping maybe this helps some of you, although it probably just applies to me and my Gumby horse.

Dressage in the CWD for no reason other than I missed it.

He likes to carry his hindquarters to the outside.  So in order to get him straight, she has me put his shoulders where his hindquarters want to go - to the outside.  It's not a way of thinking I'd ever come across myself - shoulder OUT all the time?  But it is, in effect, not at all shoulder out, it's "straight" because we're putting his shoulders in front of his hindquarters instead of vice versa.

Instead of moving his hindquarters in, she has me move his shoulder out while asking for inside bend and guarding his hindquarters from going even further out.  In one case, she told me to think leg yield with the front end and haunches in behind.  Not actually doing either of those two things, just thinking it.

The results are pretty amazing, I can instantly feel a change when I get him there.  I can get here easily when I'm riding him like that:

Because duh, straightness.
I told her that it's frustrating, because we can get there, but we can't get there quickly in the beginning of a ride.  She said "Well he's not exactly a hotblood who gets things quickly.  You'll just have to work with it."  Translation: Patience.

Next up: Jean Luc clinic tomorrow and Sunday!


  1. Straightness is so hard! Love these little snippets of wisdom from your trainer.

  2. I'm so excited! I feel like I should just bring a voice recorder...is that even allowed? It just seems so much more applicable/accessible when the clinic involves horses and riders you know. I can't wait to watch you ride :)

    1. Yay! I can't wait either! I feel like I'll need a voice recorder or a video or something. It's hard to remember everything and I want to get my money's worth, literally and figuratively haha.

  3. Oh yay clinic!

    and ps the hot horses get it quicker but omg they have a short fuse.

  4. Love this - it's how I have been told to keep our rein backs straight, I never thought to use it for forwards too :)

  5. I'm so embracing that last line about him not being a hotblood and not getting things quickly. My guy seems to take so so long to get something down. Lots of patience required.

    Can't wait to hear about the clinic!