Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lesson Recap

Long overdue lesson re-cap! After blogger ate my initial post I was kind of huffy about re-writing it all, but I like to have it written down somewhere so I can come back to in eventually if I need to so... here goes again!

I took Misty to have a lesson with KB. It's been soooo long since I had a lesson. Way too long. I had a general idea of things I kind of wanted to work on, but generally just wanted KB to pick us apart. We ended up working on some first level things we're still in the process of learning: leg yields and 10 meter half circles.

First off though was some work in transitions. Misty's transitions have imporoved by leaps and bounds. Initially, she could only do relaxed transitions on a loose rein (a la western mode) and got fussy and tense about doing them on contact. Plus downward transitions were very abrupt and upward transitions tended towards the "too expressive" side. They've become very prompt and on the bit now, no popping her head up or slamming on the brakes.

However, KB noted that there was still some tension in her transitions so we worked on getting Misty to bend deeper to take away that tenseness. We lost some "promptness" but once we get the relaxation we can alternate asking for prompt or relaxed transitions and will eventually put them together. Misty was very confused at first. She has a very vertical headset which is nice because then I don't have to worry about her sucking behind the vertical, but it makes it hard when she gets so confused by me asking for that increased bend through her poll! Eventually she figured it out (she is a smart girl after all) and the transitions were much more relaxed. Additionally, we get more lift through the shoulders and withers instead of just the neck on our upward transitions. Cool!

Next were some leg yields. As I've mentioned, Misty swings through cycles of "I got this! These are easy!" to "Ohmygosh these are so hard! Why are you asking for this?". Of course she was of the latter mindset for our lesson. We worked on getting her haunches over on a circle. KB wanted to see more of her hind legs crossing on our leg yields plus some additional straightness through the neck (I try so hard but I just tend to overbend them in the leg yield which is not conducive to a nice movement!). Once Misty got the hang of haunches out on a circle we did it along the wall with her nose to the wall, then leg yields up the centerline. Had some good moments, but this is something we need to take home and work on.

Lastly were the 10 meter half circles. Interestingly, though Misty has an easier time to the left, her left half circles suck, so I've just had to really ride the half circles and control her shoulders so they don't run out of the circle. KB said this was correct, but gave us something else to help. Working on bend because she's anticipating the change of bend. Why didn't I think of this? I should have thought of this. What we'd do is a half 10 meter circle off the wall to the centerline (to the left let's say) then hold the left bend and continue in a straight line up the centerline, then straighten, then bend right but stay on centerline, then finally a half 10 meter circle to the right. This is really going to help her anticipating and keep her from throwing her shoulders everywhere.

Overall a good lesson! We have plenty of things to work on. I was hoping to debut her at the show this coming weekend First Level but with working full time in addition to my research project and my complete lack of money this month, it sadly isn't going to happen, which I'm really put out about :(

But it's probably for the best. Not a lot of riding has been happening. More on that later! In the meantime, cute photos:

Typical. I call for my girls and Misty looks. Jetta just keeps eating. Fatty.

Lover girls.


  1. Awww they are so cute together!

  2. Love the picture of them together, so cute :)