Ok, excuse the bad pun – I couldn’t resist.
This was my mantra for today when I rode Fling. I’ve discovered “more bend” is often the answer to problems I’ve been encountering. Canter feels funky – just not ‘through?’ More bend, along with inside leg to ‘activate’ her inside hind and sympathetic outside rein to keep her straight. Trot feels flat? More bend to create more activity and a ‘dancier’ trot – and do slight shoulder fore on straight lines. Medium/extended trot or canter falls flat? Again, create more bend with slight shoulder fore. Half pass falls apart? Yep, more bend – and KEEP the bend with inside leg and rein and resist the temptation to ‘flatten’ her by using too much outside leg.
Fling was not sure she likes this new regime – but she went along with the new program. I realized during my week with Marta that I had not been asking for enough bend in general. I’ve been trying to ask for more – but I did not reallize just how much you often need. To make it easier on Fling, I’ve been starting out in walk and doing half 10m serpentines in bend, and really insisting that she change the bend fluidly and without resistance. I’ve learned to use my inside leg first when asking for the new direction.
“More bend” has really helped her canter this week. Last week it just did not feel “right” and I couldn’t quite ‘find’ that good canter. When I started asking for more bend, I found the good canter again.
She’s working really well and as usual, is a joy to ride.