Sunday, April 2, 2017

Homework

So Amanda got swept away with one of her students, to spend the week at the World Cup finals in Omaha, NE, where she watched lots of big, bold dressage horses doing dressage. It was a wonderful Christmas gift for both her and Deb. The photos on FB look like they were having a great time. While they were gone, Ashke and I have been working on homework.

I rode Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Our rides lasted between 25 and 30 minutes in the arena, except for today, when we did what we needed to in the arena and then wandered around in the field for another 45 minutes, riding circles around J and Tia.

Our rides start with some warm up, which is much less now than it was three weeks ago. Then we do some lateral work, with leg yields and shoulder in (I still don't understand the haunches in so I only do it with Amanda there to tell me when we are doing it correctly). I usually work on the leg yield from F to X to M movement from our test. We do a couple of Turn on the Haunches in each direction, then start our serpentines. Once Ashke is listening to my seat at the walk-trot serpentines, we add in the canter. We usually finish up with some figure eights at the canter with a transition at X through the trot.

Today, we didn't do the turn on the haunches or the figure 8's. Ashke gave me such a nice canter, with easy transitions, in the serpentine, that we through the rest out the window and opted to walk the fields and enjoy the sunshine.

Shoulder In at the Trot

Leg Yields with Teardrop at Trot

Canter Serpentines

In the field afterward, Ashke had a huge, forward, swinging walk. I would guess it was a 4.2 mph walk, he was swinging so big. He was relaxed and engaged and radiated such joy, I have no words. We did walking serpentines from my seat, with a slight twist of my shoulders for the turn. We jumped a pile of ground poles twice and the second time his enthusiasm carried us away at a canter. 

J, who hasn't seen him since Tracy was out, said he was more centered and balanced than she has ever seen him. And that he looked so very happy.

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