Ask and Ask Again

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.

Derpy derp.

Derpy derp.

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.

Unrelated trotting picture.

Unrelated trotting picture.

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.

photo 3 (35)

10 thoughts on “Ask and Ask Again

  1. Something new to work on over winter! These kinds of holes I like because they give me something to work on that I can practice outside lessons on my own and see results (eventually).

  2. i’m also guilty of micromanaging… womp womp. glad it was a productive lesson and O is figuring it out! it’s so hard to push on your own for that kind of work when it’s easier to just say, ehh good enough!

  3. O sounds like I did when my trainer first taught me the leg-yield. “You mean this leg and that leg can do different stuff while this hand and that hand are on totally unrelated missions of their own? Whaaat?” Luckily, aforementioned trainer is as patient as a standing stone.
    Ugh, those training holes! I find it so hard to figure out when enough is enough. Do I jump off and reward, or ask for it again and better? It varies spectacularly from horse to horse and moment to moment. Horses eh? If it was easy we wouldn’t be doing it.

  4. Struggling with that issue with my little mare – seems to go in phases at the moment: shoulders optional then hindquarters optional the next ride lol. Glad you had a productive outing!

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