Riding Hannah has been fun. She has many buttons installed and it’s been interesting and delightful to continue discovering them.
For example, we know that she does flying lead changes. I’ve been working on finessing how I ask for them, specifically: get completely straight, then ask for new bend, ensure connection to new outside rein, then move new outside leg back and do a little squeeze. This weekend we found out quite by accident that there’s a shortcut: just lift the new inside hand and voila! Lead change!
She is a good girl but needs to have a job at all times during our rides or else she will find something to get silly about. So I’ve been doing all the great exercises you’ve suggested (keep ’em coming!) and I’ve also been going through the equitation tests found in the USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Manual (which I found out about in a post at Viva Carlos – thanks L!).
What a privilege to just work on me for a change instead of the horse. The equitation tests have shown me that I need to be more precise. She’ll do it all perfectly – if I ask for it properly. I’ve also continued to really work on my position and not ride so defensively.
Meanwhile Hannah and hubby continue to get along really well.