September 4, 2019

Lesson Wrap-Up: Ride in the Field, with GIFs!

Last night Connor and I had a great lesson out in the field at home.

My trainer had done a lot of work with him while I was in California for a week, and she really made some progress with him.  I could feel him rocking back for transitions and we actually did get a couple of proper, no trot steps simple changes in my solo ride on Saturday in the indoor, both of which were new.

We rode in our breastplate with the running attachment for the first time in YEARS, at my trainer's request, "just in case".
She did a lot of her schooling with him out in the field, for strength reasons (if he can do a simple change over terrain, doing them in the indoor will be easy) and for proprioception reasons (he has to pay attention to his feet out there).

So we did some of the same, starting out with doing a lot of transitions and then doing more canter than we've done in AGES. 
Proof, and maybe a little embarrassing, but that's a LOT of canter for us.

The biggest takeaways for me are that I need to consciously focus on asking for the bend in my body, and I need to LET GO with my hands.  I don't know why this is so hard.  We're just both used to a lot of pressure being in the reins at the canter.  It feels like he's leaning on me, but then I just soften my hands and he softens too - so clearly it's a 'me' thing.

We never really got a proper c-w transition, there were always trot steps, but the canter felt so much better when I softened my hands, that I consider it a win anyway.

Heading downhill
For me, the biggest win lately has been him actually thinking about starting the transition from the hind end and sitting down rather than splatting onto his forelegs in the down transition.  This has just as much or more to do with the way I ride the transition than it does with his natural inclinations to splat along on his forehand.  Maybe Definitely this is something we should've tackled in First Level, but hey, better late than never.

A balanced down transition, be still my heart


  1. You guys look great! I also like to hold them up. It's like I'm not happy if I'm not working ten times harder than necessary. And the horses seem quite content to let me do all the work...

  2. You’re looking awesome! That canter looks so civilized 0-0

  3. Canter-walk is the bane of my existence. I think perhaps Thunder and I should go and try them in the field too...