Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dressage Clinic

Was awesome!  We started by schooling shoulders in and leg yield at the walk.  Buddy would hold the shoulder in for 3-4 strides, then slowly bring his haunches in against my inside leg and straighten up.  Tina had me increase the angle in his body, then thump him with my inside leg and/or whip every stride to keep his haunches on the wall.   Didn't take him  long to figure it out.  In the leg yield, it was the same thing; hold his shoulder with my outside rein and tap every stride with my inside leg and whip.

We then went on to do the same thing in the trot and it took a little longer (and me being more forceful) to get a nice shoulder in.  Buddy would keep flipping his head or trying to yank the reins from me when I would get after him.  Tina had me grab the front of my edge of my saddle pad to anchor my hand so he couldn't get the rein. While it worked, it really pissed him off! 

After a walk break in which we worked on going from a free walk to a medium walk without his head shooting up or him anticipating we went to canter.  We worked on the trot-canter-trot transitions.  His upwards weren't bad, and Tina said they had improved since we last rode with her (which was last summer).  For the downwards, she had me do a one rein half halt in a one, two rhythm.  Basically I was supposed the mimic the trot rhythm by half halting on my inside rein, then my outside rein.  As long as I kept my leg on, it worked nicely.  He would come down into the trot forward without feeling like he was diving on to his front end.

During the transitions he was holding his head up, and not really listening to me asking him to keep it down.  Tina suggested a German martingale, and asked if I had one.  I don't, but Connie was right there and she does. We put it on, and what a difference!!  He was much lighter in my hand, and our transitions felt 100% better.  The canter was much rounder and it felt like he was floating.  I'm going the keep using the martingale and hopefully by next month when Tina comes back we'll have a much nice, rounder pony!

I asked Tina to check Phoenix for me to see if he needed an adjustment.  He didn't, yay!  She's know him as long as I've had him, and said that he felt great for being turned out for a year.  She suggested I start him on B-L Solution, which is an anti-inflammatory.  Our local feed store has it, so I'm going to pick some up on Monday.  She agreed with me about putting shoes on, but said his feet looked great.

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