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Wizard Ride 273: …But Not Serious

September 2, 2011

A 5 o'clock shadow and swishy tail usually end up in the photo cull pile, but they are key elements in this one...

Wednesday, 8/31/11

Riding lesson day!

After watching part of Kris and Sunny’s lesson, Wizard and I had a lesson with Carole. I had him warmed up before the lesson, so we got right to business. First order of business was my position and how it was affecting Wizard at the trot. The big things I had to remember for this lesson were: roll my left thigh out a bit, stop leading with my left shoulder, lift my hands and soften my elbows, and focus on the tempo of Wizard’s trot. Carole said that she asks her young riders to sing their A-B-Cs to regulate the speed of the trot, and I was worried that she was going to make me do it, ha ha! Thankfully, I just sang it in my head and it actually helped to keep Wizard at a regular pace.

I explained to Carole that Wizard and I had been struggling with canter transitions, so she really took some time to work on them. First, she asked for a walk-to-canter transition. What? But ours is terrible! Just do it, she asked. And so we did. And it was actually really good! I have not asked for one in forever because they used to be so awkward. With some careful timing and balanced riding, we got a decent one in each direction. We really worked on the leg aid being part of the walking motion, rather than an awkward tap on the side with my heel (bad me!).

At the trot, we also worked on canter departs. It turns out, I was over-thinking them and we did a lot better when I did not take half the arena waiting for the perfect trot. We did not rush, but we did not dawdle. After just one transition, Wizard began to anticipate, and after a few more, he was doing his war dance. Tempo, count the steps, ask for my trot, and influence him with my posting.

Once we were cantering, we worked on getting me to soften my hands and ask Wizard to stretch his nose out instead of curling it to his chest. Every other stride, I gave with my hands without throwing the reins away.

The plan was to do some jumping, but with all the intense flatwork that we did, we decided to jump next time. It was a very productive lesson. I always get my money’s worth with Carole! We discussed my “homework” for future rides, and I asked how I should approach jumping. Carole agreed that doing small jumps and sets of trot poles during flatwork was a good idea. Do a figure 8, trot a cross rail. Ask for a canter, hop a little jump, and keep riding. Don’t get too serious about the jumps. Let him settle and learn that they are not the most exciting things in the world.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2011 4:38 pm

    Adam Ant !

    Good tune – early MTV era.

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