This week has flown bye!
It was my last week of teaching at university for the year – which is a scary thought with my exams less than a month away – so was packed with revision lectures and the last of my phase tests.
Riding wise West has been going really well. We ventured back to Field Farm on Wednesday to see Jane for our lest session before the Winter Champs. Jane cleared up a couple of questions I had over where to place some of the transitions in the test so I’m not throwing marks away. This lead back to my corners as well – I find myself not riding my corners as well as I should do sometimes (!) – Jane picked up on this as well so I’ve really got to concentrate on having West wrapped around my leg more (More about this a bit further down!). We also had a look at the trot half passes; I’ve picked up this habit of over-riding the trot in the half passes which then loses the rhythm and balance, so when I actually relaxed and just positioned her it was much better. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a massive difference!
As some of you may have read in my last blog, I wrote that I had an exciting opportunity… (drum roll please) … a lesson with Gareth Hughes. Gareth quickly picked up the fact that West finds everything easy but our main issue is keeping Wests concentration especially on the straight lines or big circles where she can feel a little lost. We started out on a circle riding shoulder in then when she was focused riding straight and if we spooked or looked at something back to shoulder in. Then this progressed to going large around the arena and using a walk transition when she wasn’t listening, then the same in the half passes. Gareth gave me a plan to help with the concentration that I can use in a test and when training. He also noticed that I wasn’t using my inside rein to help gain the inside bend around my leg, I’ve always just been told ‘inside leg to outside rein’ but I’ve now got to think ‘inside rein, inside leg, outside rein’. Seems like something really small but makes a huge difference to my riding. This improved the Wests concentration even more, now I just need to remember to use it in my tempi changes as well! We didn’t do too much of the advanced work due to the Winter Champs only being at Medium level but still lots of tips I can use in the advanced work as well. So lots to work on before next time!
Also I had a small write up in the Horse and Hound this week from our two wins a few weeks ago!
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