Saturday, November 24, 2012
Leslie Law, Day 1
Ok, so, a brief rundown of things I took from LL today:
First exercise: five poles set 9' apart. Then last pole up to a fence.
Second exercise- simple placing pole, jump, placing pole. Spaced the same on either side, jumped up and then down.
Third- "Good" four stride line that ended up being tricky, riding in a short 5 or long 4 due to uphill, deep sand, "first line-itis" etc. Around to a four, to a two.
Everytime you put change something with a TB, it's like putting a cold hand on your back- their reaction is back down, head up, run. You have to keep at it until your leg "warms up" on their sides and they relax and supple.
6-8 good steps and then a transition is far better than 21 steps that continue to decrease in quality.
Down transitions to fix the balance.
Lots of lateral work to supple them into your hand. Riding the head is no good because anytime you ask for a change- like... turn off centerline... you're screwed.
Placing poles to require the horse to place his feet correctly between each pole and maintain their own balance to stay out of trouble.
Eventers like to jump with the arc beyond the fence (for XC), so asking the horse to make the bascule correctly over the fence will keep the poles up in SJ.
Practice riding courses. "Any moron" can get into a grid and ride out of it, at the end of the day.
My lower leg still sucks- he had me raise my hands up- even though I wasn't balancing off of them, carrying them low still gives me some support through my reins, and lifting them makes me find another source- aka my lower leg.
I need to be able to think on my feet faster- if he's short to fence one, ride the smaller stride down the line. If he's forward and balanced, ride it on through.
When my position is better in the air, I will be able to land more organized and carry on quicker. Right now I spend the first stride after the fence getting my bearings and instead of making good decisions.
For my own reflection: I still like to be super passive on Doc. His canter is so balanced that often I just sit there and wait for the fence to happen. This happens most when it is an exercise requiring accuracy, I figure he'll sort it out. I need to ride off my eye and not just sit like a lump on a log. In the words of Kyle: "If you see a distance, ride to it!" "Maybe I don't see a distance?" "You're right too often to for me to believe that." JUST RIDE THE HORSE, LAUREN.
My wonderful group! Me on Doc, Becca on Merlin, Andi on (the other) Doc and Chelsea on Wally!