Last night’s lesson went well, and Lizzie was reasonably sane (considering that the day before she had been spooking and making huge sideways leaps at the bits of sunlight coming through the cracks in the walls. She worked really, really well.
I’m working on contact. I’ve always had a series of babies that I started, trained to a certain point, and then sold on. I love the psychology of starting young horses or re-training problem horses, but I’ve never had the chance to ride a higher-level horse. So, taking a firm hold, having quite a lot of contact with a horse’s mouth is hard for me. It feels as though I’m really, really cranking back on her, although I’m not actually pulling at all. Sally says that once Lizzie starts getting stronger, and getting her hindquarters under her for longer periods of time, the contact will feel lighter. Must keep trying to NOT pull with that inside hand. Kip avoided work by dragging his feet, and Lizzie avoids work by scooting off, trying to run away with her head in the air…both are avoidances. Everything considered, I prefer the scooting off…much easier to ride. Travers to shoulder-in and back again. Transitions, transitions, transitions. Keep the contact, don’t let her sneak more rein out so she can go long and downhill again, keep thinking uphill.
I read something recently, I think in a book by Charles de Kunffy, about “what you build in canter, you spend in trot”. In other words, canter is one of the “ancient” gaits, the other being walk, and are easier for the horse than trot. You build power and impulsion with the canter, and then translate the energy that you’ve “saved up” into trot work. Interesting.
In other news, I am currently amazed that anyone is shocked that a skeletal, rich model does cocaine. Helllooo…are you all really that naive? I would be shocked to the bone if she didn’t. It’s obviously a slow news week…as demonstrated by the big news story this morning, about the pig that can say “hello” in a French accent. Don’t ask. :)