On the first day
Peter liked Dani's relaxation at the beginning of the session but decided to work to improve Dani's "sit" into his downward transitions with the back raised in a revision of the work for the year. To this end I was asked to ride forward to halt using the legs a little further back than normal to raise Dani's back and allow the hind legs to snap further under his body. Things started gently with simple transition to halt from walk progressing to trot and then canter - by the end of the session the canter, halt, canter transition repeated around the circle with growing frequency..........well "rider malfunction" was the best way to describe my performance!
now by the second day!
Peter went back to those ***** transitions and further complicated the issue by asking me to collect the canter by slowing the rhythm of my seat at A and on the centre line whilst sliding my inside knee down the saddle and letting my inside hip progress further forward. Well I think I need to practise that one too ah hum
Misty rain put paid to the outdoor school and so we worked inside - raising the back at walk whilst working long and low, a little shoulder in to half pass. Trot halt trot not even twitching the rein a nano touch which eventually showed me something of a raised, lifting balance through the shoulder. A simple change of legs at canter in which if I failed to keep his back raised he would creep behind the leg again to loose impulsion in a perfect demonstration of achieved impulsion and finally finishing with a long and low trot going large around the school. Hmmmmmmmmm - I sympathise with Peter and Dani!
Working on Monday I remembered the lifting balance of the shoulders that I had felt in Danilon in the final transitions and applied it to the half pass - bingo much much better. Thank you Peter sometimes you can only learn by doing!
Saturday dawned for Dani and Celia Cohen (equine physio) paid one of her regular visits to Dani - I have a little trouble changing the flexing to the left and Celia found some soreness in his poll. She used an extreme stretch to help free the area, fittingly helped by an apple on a stick. Dani can be seen in the first photo supervising the loading of the stick with the help of Celias mum Pip.
and he was only too happy to follow the tasty morsel
to whichever unlikely position it was likely to assume
What's a chap got to do to get an apple around here!