Friday, June 20, 2014

Logging the Miles

So, Jet and I have been logging the miles since our last video lesson/consult on the Rider Test at Training Level.  We've had lots of rain here in the Heartland, so my grass ring has been a bit squishy some days and we've had an on and off riding schedule depending on the level of rain.

A couple of things have come up though, and I thought I would share.  First off, the biomechanics tips I have gotten from EP are spot on, but getting them consistently without constant thought will take some hours in the saddle.  New habit building is hard and takes some repetition and while I'm riding and thinking about the new habits, there is not much room in my head for more new habits or new movements.  Second, I might have been so gung-ho that I've overwhelmed my pony with too many new things that are a little hard for him.  The key here is the too many new things.  When he feels overwhelmed he starts to spook a lot and look for evasions to avoid the tough stuff.  Nothing new with him, just a feature of his personality.  Willing, but only so far...

So, I went back to the baseline today, which is essentially Training Level on the 20 meter circle.  Easy for him and easy for me to keep my improved biomechanics.  Then we worked a little on leg yield on the wall at the walk and then trot, then the leg yield at trot in the Rider Test at Second Level.  He was great, non-spooky, and willing.  The last leg yields were excellent.  Just how it would like them for the test.  Next up in order of importance are turn on the forehand, trot-halt-trots, trot lengthen, and canter serpentine.  We will keep adding in the pieces he is missing or substandard in for the test, but only one or two at a time until we have the whole package.

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