Stinker looks dapper in his If The Bonnet Fits and Dark Jewel Designs
Now on to the actual pony stuff. As I mentioned on Monday, my favorite dressage judge was in town and I got two lessons in with her. We mostly worked on the trot and did way more trotting that I had been so I know I can step up the game there.
It was such a struggle for me to actually get this picture
The biggest take away was I need to make everything a random game for him. When I keep things very fluid and random, he can't start anticipating and tense. Lots of turns and changes of directions and just slide him in and out of the trot. Nothing is a big deal (I can praise him, but any changes need to be subtle and the appropriate amount of prep). I keep trying to over prep everything.
The sunset have been so pretty lately
On the first day, I really left like I was struggling in the trot. I felt super floppy and loose and generally sloppy. After a brief discussion post lesson, we decided to move my stirrups to the second bar on my saddle. It sits higher and farther back than the one I had been using.
I love how fancy he looks in the white polos
The second day, I warmed up without stirrups because I didn't like them but didn't want to mess with them before the dressage judge looked at them. We dropped them another hole and then they were ok at the walk. In the trot, they were amazing and made me fall even more in love with my saddle. I didn't realize that I had been using all my core strength just to maintain my balance, which is why I had no half halt. Since I was starting more balanced I actually had a half halt.
It is amazing what a half halt will let you do.
Having a half halt let me find a small trot where I can really get him working correctly. It will help him to build more strength than the big one, since he tends to start pulling with the front instead of pushing from behind. It is a work in progress, but I really feel like we are so close to something. I am not sure what that something is, but hopefully I will be able to recognize it when I get there.