Cantering in the dark (kind of)

A quick mid-week horsey update. I had a lovely private lesson yesterday on Tx. I haven’t had private lesson in a couple of weeks so it was great to get one in, unfortunately it is now pitch black by the time I get to the stables and it is floodlight time in the school. Yesterday it was windy, windy, windy and with horses in adjoining fields, lights and funny noises coming from the yard as my instructor put it “all a horse needs to try and take the p%**!’. So I didn’t let him! 

I am pretty chuffed with myself on this one as I came into the school feeling really positive and determined to get Tx moving, I often don’t get him at the weekends so it was brilliant to get to work on my own with him. Tx is a highland pony and my instructor commented that she believes the highland ponies they have tune into the rider’s emotions more than some of the other horses so she explained that my positive feeling may well have helped. My instructor said afterwards that she thought the lesson would go well as I approached the school with Tx at a jog – and that pony is usually the epitome of chilled out!

My instructor said to not allow him to get bored or for the lesson to be too predictable, so we mixed it up constantly. I was leg yielding on the three quarter line to the centre line rather than out, walking in squares, trot to walk to halt transition, shallow loops and inclines back to track. We concentrated on me helping him finish the turn, basically I have tendency to turn the horse and then allow them to finish the turn but if I keep my outside leg on then I get a much neater turn – we worked on this using serpentines where I turned in trot had to walk then pick up trot again before my turn at the other side of the school. It was brilliant fun, it also really made both Tx and I focus.

Then suddenly I got told, pick up canter now and he responded! I had a good enough trot for Tx to strike off immediately when I asked. We were then working on turning in the canter so I was canter around the school then turning on the long diagonal, trotting in the centre then after the change of rein picking up canter again – whew! We didn’t always get it, again I needed to focus more on finishing my turns – after a bit more working in the walk and trot on that with the squares our canter exercises had massively improved!

The final five minutes before the cool down section we did the dressage test again to help me with the speed and accuracy of the movements, there was an improvement but I need to re-enforce it all in my mind and the shaping of some of my movements were still off. So better but could be better still.

It was a nice productive lesson and I found it really positive but I am aware that I need to make sure that lesson is taken forward and I work on really finishing turns and securing my seat in the walk (since I did my ankle in June I have been more unsteady in my seat). Well roll on Sunday I am back at the stables in my regular 3pm riding slot and I can’t wait to ride with my usual class…now lets see if I remember anything from last night.

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2 thoughts on “Cantering in the dark (kind of)”

    1. They are beautiful, although really cheeky too – they seem to have loads of personality. I will need to take some pictures of Tx some time, I should try to get one of him when he is sleeping – often he is lying flat out in his stable sometimes even after he has been tacked up! Thanks, Wednesday felt good but I am all too aware that another lesson is another matter. It is annoying that isn’t it? If I could just remember to do everything at the same time 🙂

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