A breakthrough lesson

Debbie Bowman was here this weekend and I rode Fling twice and Faeryn once. More about Faeryn in another post –

Had a real breaktrhough in my canter work with Fling. I developed a bad habit of ‘pumping’ at the canter and it’s been very difficult to stop. When I ‘pump,’ I drive her down with my seat, and the pumping is also a direct conflict when asking her to collect, since I’m continually telling her to ‘go’ with my seat.

We worked hard on me just ‘sitting like a sack of potatoes.’  I’ve been working on this on my own since the last clinic – but today I was much more succesful at it and was able to get Fling to almost canter ‘on the spot’ in both directions. As a result of having her more collected – my canter half pass was much, much improved. Because i was not ‘chasing’ her with my seat, she was more collected and not running through my aids at the canter. Trot half pass was super. In the ‘on the spot’ canter I felt like I could ask for a canter pirouette and would actually get it. I also did a few flying changes – one was late behind which is unusual for her, but the other one was pretty good. I was just happy because it has always been tough for me to get good changes away from home. Hopefully that will become a thing of the past.

Because of my bad habit of collapsing my hip on the left (I even catch myself doing this while DRIVING) BOTH horses are stiff to the right and reluctant to carry weight on the right hind. So we worked on that, too, and when I got Fling more ‘honestly’ stepping into the right hind, all the pieces really felt together and she felt so much more connected and through. The quality of her canter has been the biggest obstacle to us being ready to show Third level at a recognized show. I felt like we made a huge leap toward being ready to show Third level and actually be competitive.

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