Had such a great ride yesterday, I feel like I might have been a little negative lately, truth is this is very hard work, trying to navigate through all the obstacles, and sometimes I feel a little over whelmed. I’m sure basically all of you know what I mean!
I put on the draw reins yesterday, Callie has been very strong lately and with that neck she is building she can quite easily pull me out of the tack. I felt I needed that extra bit of leverage to work on some things I had in mind.
The theme for yesterday’s ride was quick responses! I started walking, doing a halt, and the idea was for her to respond to my aids straight away. The key here is to start with the smallest aid possible, then escalade if you don’t get a response, with sharp quick taps of your leg. As soon as they go forward you take the leg off, and praise! Then repeat from step on. You want them to respond to that very first, super small aid.
This method is advocated by all my favourites, Carl Hester, Edward Gal, Patrik Kittel etc. etc. or as Nicholas Fyffe so geniusly put it “Your horse shouldn’t be like a bike that you have to pedal, it should be in cruise control”.
I did the same type of work in trot, and then worked on leg yields and shoulder in, to make her activate her hind end. In the canter we did canter loops and worked on her bend, combined with diagonals to check her straightness. Callie tends to float out a lot with her bum or shoulders so this is a great way to check that everything is in the right place! I always correct her front to the back, so if she wants to throw in her bum, I do shoulder in. Also, I try to do the opposite of what she wants, so if she starts hanging on my reins, I activate her hind more and give her some release on the rein. She always have to carry herself.
Once I felt that she was nice and through I called it a day and went for a nice little hack!