Friday, December 28, 2012

Lesson Recap

Before heading off to spend Christmas with the family, I was able to fit in two fantastic riding lessons. We started off with a jumping lesson on Friday, putting another test ride on the Amerigo. My foot handled this ride a little better, & we jumped through a little gymnastic with the final oxer eventually being hiked up to 4 foot! Naturally, I didn't have any type of recording device with which to capture the event.  Just my luck.  Anywho, Cadence popped the 4' oxer a few times like it was nothing, but caught me in the butt once when she kicked up behind; I was surprised at how much it hurt...  After the gymnastic, we jumped through a fun exercise with two oxers set 3 strides apart.  You canter through the line, then ride a figure eight, taking both oxers on an angle.  Cadence was a pro, and handelled it beautifully.  There was one rider-induced screw up( rode a poor line/bad turn on the in to the 3 stride) which resulted in her catching a rail, but all things considered it could have been a lot worse. Overall though, it was a fantastic lesson.

The next day we had a dressage lesson in which we focused on Cadence's lateral work (mostly leg-yield in the trot & shoulder-in) and canter transitions.  We did some nose-to-wall leg yields, & focused on keeping all her feet in the right place in the shoulder/haunches-in.  She's caught on to the lateral work like a forest fire, and its been fun to watch her progress so rapidly.  I however have some catching up to do in that department, as I feel like I'm inhibiting her progress.
The canter transitions are something that Cadence struggles with a bit more, as she really prefers to just run through my aids and go flying into a runaway trot.  As fun as that may be, I personally prefer it when she sits back and flats into a collected trot.  However, 90% of the time Cadence wins.  We started to address this by spiralling in on a circle (at the canter) and riding our canter-trot transition on the smaller circle.  We'd then spiral back out, getting her into my outside rein, and pop back into the canter.  This was a great exercise, and was quite helpful for a while.  But recently, serpentines with simple changes on the center line have proven to be a far more effective means of acheiving balanced transitions.  I can't quite figure out why- maybe its the quick pace, or the constant changes of bend- but with this exercise we executed some truly beautiful transitions... probably our best transitions yet.  I also discovered that her trot-canter transitions (which were weaker than her canter-trots in the summer) have become absolutely lovely!  When I have her nicely balanced, that is.
So in the dressage, the areas that we're pushing are mostly the lateral work, and improving the quality of the canter & transitions.  I'd love to get some dressage video footage soon, since the work is feeling good but I have this awful feeling that it feels way better than it looks.  Ah well.  Mehaps I can cajole some family members into coming to film crew for me ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment