Thursday, June 27, 2013

Going Green.

This Picture = Hard work and persistence and a lot of lessons
Things finally coming together on the flat

A different green. This post is long overdue and yet so anticipated. I made my first attempt at Prelim. at Waredaca on June 2nd. Dressage went well considering I thought that, and therefore had practiced, my test was in a large ring. Stadium was a positive first effort and as a partnership we put in a long awaited forward round with some rideability. Hope SJ Round. Cross Country was foot-perfect until fence 5 (corner) where we came in with a flat canter that lacked impulsion and some control. She tried to chip and I more or less bailed with a "10" for  the summer-salt-land-on-my-feet dismount from the jump judge. All things considered it was one of my best outings yet. My next attempt was Plantation Field June 9th during a week when it rained torrentially almost every day. Although I couldn't quite find a rhythm in any of the phases, I finished and had a lot of fun.

Worth the Trust Scholarship:
Previous Balance: 904.23
5.28 - Lesson with Molly (60.00)

5.30 - Lesson with Anecia (50.00) - School Prelim. Test A - Worked on asking for lengthenings once straight off the wall, counter flexing before asking for a leg yield (i.e. leg yield right, counter flex left before leaving the wall) and canter transitions (creating a leg yield feel into the transitions).
6.1 - Lesson with Molly - Waredaca Prep. (60.00)

6.11 - Lesson with Molly - Plantation Flat Prep. (60.00) - A few key excercises to help nail some issues in the flat work. (1) When practicing the movement of cantering across the diagonal and trotting at X, throw in a circle as soon as the trot begins to encourage suppleness throughout the transition. (2) leg yield from the quarter line to the wall down the long side, then do a mock shallow serpentine at the trot. Then repeat with the canter. For the canter serpentine the movement was broken down as follows; off the wall diagonally, straight along quarter line, towards the wall diagonally. For this movement she told me to (3) imagine swinging the hindquarters away from the wall to obtain the straight suppleness down quarter line and to (4) circle immediately following the approach into the corner to discourage a rushed finish.

6.20 - 3 Lessons with Molly - SJ Rose, SJ Hope, Flat Hope (180.00) - Both jump lessons focused on what became a very challenging drill; vertical, 20 meters, oxer. The challenge was to trot in and canter five strides from both directions and then approach with a canter to get four in between from both directions. I am beginning to realize how difficult it is to bring Hope back following a jump and regain a quality canter, which when absent makes related distances difficult. Rose was game the entire lesson and continues to send my heart into my throat by casually omitting strides in related distances. My flat lesson with Hope is a lesson that will stick with me as a one of my most memorable lessons in developing dressage basics. Molly decided that my approach needs to be (1st) geometry: circle work to develop rhythm, suppleness, and elasticity and (2nd) test movements. During this lesson we drilled equitation; sinking elbows, firm lower leg, loose knee and a tall back that stretches up and doesn't arch. I admit I thought connection was developed through a firm outside rein to push inside aids too. For this Molly brought up dancing partners and said I need to have a steady inside rein to guide the bend, but a continually giving and taking outside rein to provide a space for Hope to push into and bend into. Our canter work focused on shape, shape, shape. To achieve shape Molly had me lift my inside rein with ever stride while allowing my outside rein to give and follow the bend. Throughout the lesson it was became clear that I have a real issue with giving up my right rein in both directions and when something didn't work I got piano hands. Molly must have said 100 times throughout the lesson to sink my elbows, turn my inside rein out with my palm facing up and to continue following the shape with my outside aids. Although it felt foreign, a week later I am actually enjoying flatwork. On that note, Cheers!

New Balance: 494.23

Look at that improved position!

I look at this picture everyday and know I have something special in this mare, but it won't come without disciplined practice and more lessons.


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