Progress update to catch us up from last week’s rides…
I decided to treat Tuesday’s ride as a practice dressage session, to gauge what I need to focus on these next 2 weeks. We warmed up in one arena, and then headed over to the dressage arena to run through BN Test A.
Our warm up was good. I included several free walks, and really focused on straightness and stretching but with good energy.
Our first run through of the test was mixed. I was sure to not use vocal cues, and to keep on going with the test even when we had issues (we broke to canter twice). The first half of the test was decent (with a good free walk – yay!) but as soon as we changed rein to track right (Hemie’s harder side) I got some resistance and the trot work was tense. I realize that asking him to connect to the left rein through such a brief medium walk right before trotting is problematic. I need to try using right/inside rein only, try bending more or bending less, try focusing on shoulder straightness, or perhaps try a mini shoulder in for that corner.
|Random photo of my horse being a creeper.|
I did the second half of the test 2 more times and got some improved work. I didn’t want to drill him and make us both tense and even worse, so we worked on other things then did a nice long cool out.
Inspired by Andrea’s (The Reeling) recent post, I decided to give Hemie a longe/bit-up on Wednesday instead of a ride to work on bending issues. Alas, it was dark before I got to the barn, and Hemie was ultra spooktastic. But he settled down to work after a few minutes of bug-eye-ness and was surprisingly willing, straight, with good impulsion and stretching his back up and neck down. We ended up not using either of Andrea’s 2 tips, but I’m keeping them in the back pocket for future reference. Of course, I wasn’t able to capture any of the greatness on my phone, but here’s some dark and blurry photos anyway.
Then I had just a few strides to turn through a steep angled line, with sharp right turn. This remained a ground pole, but was challenging enough as is!
Then to the red box, this time with pole on top.