Monday, November 16, 2015

After Photos Some Things to Work On

After having video and stills taken yesterday I found a few things to refine for both rider and pony.  In general I am loving how Jet looks.  His neck is lengthened, withers lifted, and he is now rarely behind the vertical and if so, only for a couple of strides.  He is soft, forward, rythmic, pretty straight, and willing.  My biomechanics look a bit better and a couple of things I have struggled with like sitting up more and less use of hands look considerably improved.  That said, there were a few things that popped up for both of us that need attention.

1)  I need to remember to use my connecting and vertical powerlines at the canter and the trot and let my seat/hips follow in a 3 dimensional way ALL THE TIME.  Remember kids you can only regulate the horse's step with your seat if you passively follow with the seat consistently.  This comes and goes for me, mostly at the canter, and in the trot I am pretty consistent except for the lengthens when I sometimes get a little out of sync.  In this photo you can see I've allowed my shoulders slightly forward rather than letting my hips follow.  Jet is nice, soft, and happy at the canter, so this one is close, it just comes and goes, and I have to really concentrate to make it happen all the time.  I need to add power next in the canter to improve his canter, and this won't happen correctly unless I can follow ALL THE TIME with my seat at the canter first.  Maybe some visualizing would help?  

2)  The trot lengthens look and feel better but I still fight my habit of letting my reins get too short which leads to letting my elbows get ahead, which tilts me forward, and puts him on the forehand.  That said, I am pretty happy with HIM in this picture.  He is lengthening with a lifted wither and his balance looks great.  I just need to make it easier for him by bringing my elbows back, engaging my vertical and connecting powerlines, following with my hips, and letting him go.  This is the best, most balanced, lengthen photo I have ever had of him though, so we are getting there.  As usual, I am the problem!

3). In this photo of a 10 meter circle left, Jet looks pretty balanced, withers lifted, straight on the arc of the circle, and engaged, but I would like to see his neck a bit longer with his nose at vertical.  The solution, WAIT FOR IT, my elbows need to be back, my vertical and connecting powerlines more engaged, and with one forward half-halt all is perfect.

So, obviously you get the theme here.  Elbows at sides, connecting powerline, vertical powerline, and following seat/hips.  I picked these three pictures because they really showed where I am still lacking from previous long held habits.  Most of the pictures taken actually showed the opposite with Jet engaged and correct and me lined up and bio-mechanically correct.  I think it is just with some of the harder movements that some of my bad habits creep in.  It goes something like, "Oh s%#{ this is hard, shorten my reins, use my hands, lean forward, hands hands!" and it needs to be replaced with, "Oh s%#} this is hard, elbows BACK, connecting powerline, vertical powerline, following seat and then use my seat and half-halts to regulate the horse!"

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