My lesson last night ended up being 98% flat work, which was fabulous, because we have discovered a rather large issue. My horse does not realize she can independently move her shoulders. The idea of moving her shoulder over correctly was pretty much alien to her, for which I felt a bit dumb about. Does she bend? Most days. Does she yield off leg pressure? Yes. But the minute my trainer asked us to move the shoulder out and create a better, softer bend I ran into a rather large training hole.
So we found ourselves trotting forward, pushing (a lot) with the inside leg, and opening to the outside to ask the outside shoulder to shift over. It was not a difficult concept, but we ran into a bit of a training hole on my part. I get way too excited when she does something correctly, even if it could still be better. The theme for the night was ask for the move/bend, then ask again. Did I get enough? Ask again…and again. She’s not green, and is more than capable of producing some quality trot work if I just kept pushing her.
This is why I need a trainer. Would we eventually get the type of bend and movement we had in our lesson if it was just me…maybe? But it wouldn’t take 20 minutes to create, probably more like 20 rides. Anyway, great job security for you trainers out there.
I will say that once I had established the “that’s not quite enough-try again” concept to her, O gave me some really fabulous work, including in my mind, some of the best canter we’ve had. She was forward, round, and while still fussy with her head a bit (not used to my continued requests) she seemed happy enough to oblige my aides. Now that I know that type of movement is in there, I am making it a mission to get to that place much more often.
We finished jumping some small jumps, where I tried very hard to NOT micromanage every step she takes. The struggle is real folks.