Thursday, 29 July 2010

A visit to PMG

Dani and I unexpectedly had the chance of a couple of lesson with Peter Madison Greenwell this weekend and so this time we arrived in plenty of time!! Dani really enjoys parking as he can survey the scenery from a comfortably stationary position and the corner of Rachel and Paul's indoor school at St Pirans was a perfect view point up the valley for him. p.s Charles is threatening to crush my hat but every body needs a lucky hat don't they?

Our first day started gently with work at trot and canter and I claimed "lack of rider fitness" ............ which worked for one session ah hum. The canter transitions were to be ridden more forward giving the feel of a strike off from an undulating wave or rhythmic round cycle of the back. I was pleased with Danni as most of his preparation has been schooling whilst hacking around the roads and our daily more intensive car park training in hand. (See Jenny Rolfes book for park optional of course)
Peter felt Danni's stride had improved and he was generally more forward which was good news but now as Danni approaches a more meaningful collection he can become "unsettled" for which read hold on tight mum, before giving his best work that has progressed a notch up the illusive ladder of training. Peter said this was not unusual as the horse explores the new energy and that it was important to persevere at this stage as it could be a major barrier to progress if not addressed leaving many horses and riders in a permanent elementary/medium limbo. At least I was not alone and in fact when I struggled with one transition and said "all that is happening is his back is going up and up" Peter said Good.........strangely I felt oddly reassured!! and pushed for more from Danni. Our last exercise of the day was to canter large trot before the corner and then strike off again into canter

For our second session we wanted to concentrate on the illusive half pass.......and did we work!!
Danni gave his best most balanced engagement yet (after a small whip around) and felt superb. I wasn't always fit enough to follow each exercise to a neat conclusion but I think we grasped the essentials in a process that saw us shoulder in up the centre line, then turn again to traver then turn again to half pass in walk trot and canter. I didn't really get the degree of lateral bend that I should have done at times but we did get some nice steps. As i tired Peter allowed us to counter canter then leg yield to the quarter line before half passing back to the nice secure fence. He remarked at the end that the more difficult work should be at the beginning of the session and then give easier exercises towards the end to encourage the horse.

My nemesis was attempting to cater up the centre line right leg leading to half pass to the track --Cue a change of legs each time as my weight went to my outside seat bone.......very embarrassing but Peter changed the exercise to catering large and then strike off in true or counter canter on the straight sides to position the horse before returning to the centre line to apply what I had learnt...........and phew - made it. Thank you Peter and Thank you Danni. To say I was cooked was an understatement!

Dani drying out in our car park after his shower - I think I'm talking to some guests

Sunning the other side with "dad" Charles - if he goes into his stable damp he covers himself in shavings and poo................horses are all the same!!!