Killing you with all the endless indoor schooling pictures.
Still, here we go.
Years ago, I didn’t have the habit of opening the hand too much. Or if I did I had no idea of doing it. Now, it’s become a problem, and I’d like to train it away.
What happens is that once we’re in a really nice, soft contact, I open more, to give or something, then she’ll take advantage and become strong, say down the longside or diagonal.
Then we get strung out, half halts are not going through because now the reins are too long. And Valiosa will lose straightness and impulsion with inconsistent contact like that right away. Super frustrating to know the hand must stay closed, but it still opens!
Every time I let the contact slip like that, we lose valuable time in getting back to the “right spot”.
First step to get it right is to really believe she can go into the closed hand and stay there. That she’s actually capable of going forward in THAT contact.
Makes sense? Because earlier, she just wasn’t capable to.
So. I’ll be working on that in the sandbox. Soft, closed hand. Not an oxymoron.
When it works, she’s awesome!
After this week we’ll be mostly on our own again. (Oh NO!!) Many thanks to Geñay who works with us and has been so helpful! It’s been a blast, couldn’t have done this without you!
The walk with Valiosa has been more difficult than I ever thought it would be.
Especially when there are so many other, hard, things to work on. But she really wants to stay resistant in the walk. Short stride, pushing back, strung out or more tense and upright. Get the walk right, and she’ll feel fantastic.
Been lucky to be able to pull off a focused instruction period – 16 sessions, back-to-back, which is a huge change in consistency when you do most training on your own.
It’s awesome! Halfway through now, can’t wait to see where we get in the next two weeks.
Getting her just a little more listening to the leg, quicker, straighter – this is the twistiest horse ever – and softer in everything. But it’s the walk that tips off if she is between the aids in the beginning. Or not.
Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get her to the same feel on my own when we go back to training alone most of the time…
Sure you’ve been there too – fantastic lessons where your horse feels fabulous. Then we’ve got to figure out how to get back there. I’ll show you pictures next week of how she’s coming along!
If you’re lucky ( 🙂 ) like me and ride a really tight horse, who’d rather push back toward you instead of softening and striding forward, it really doesn’t matter how many little figures you do, it’s still not going to be right.
So, lately, I’ve been working on really straight lines with Valiosa. Coming into the contact, confirming more on the outside rein.
Very basic. Forward. With as little fussing through the corners as possible. Thinking quiet, with swing, steady.
She’ll come into a much different breathing this way, rhythmic, harder working, but more relaxed. All good things.
Where things can get so short and choppy, she can now feel like she’s moving out better toward the end.
And she’s trying so much harder for me. So grateful for her.
In the canter, around the full arena until she’s swinging more, actually using herself. Forget collecting. Finding a way to get her moving freely, not fourbeat. And as much as possible, with both seatbones in the saddle.
Yes, it’s working. No, we can’t show at first level this way. Yes, confident I should stick to this for some time.
We’ve been schooling outside a bit – she’s much more upright and distracted out there.
Mostly, I walk her on the property for conditioning on varying footing. Super helpful for her walk, so much more ground winning than a year ago. But when we’re allowed to go in one of the outdoor arenas it’s worth it with some schooling there!
Lately she’s been forward in canter, which is not usually her thing, only to become really strong if I get fooled into too much on the inside rein. Like this ⇓ 🙂 Then she just takes off with us both.
Or she’ll mix it up with a dead-stop fake-spook to keep things interesting. Mostly, I wait for her to take a breath, and then we go again as if nothing happened.
Riding Silverfish takes a lot of patience. All worth it!
As soon as it gets baking hot even before 10 am, I know we won’t be out there too much. Taking advantage when we can – show you more of that next week!