Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finding my canter

I've been getting up at 6.30 recently to go riding. I figure it is nicer for Jack to ride when its cooler since he attracts the sun so much, and it also means that I have the rest of the day to do whatever else is needed. If I ride in the afternoon it feels like my whole day has been taken up by Jack which really annoys me.

We're mostly doing fitness work at the moment. A little bit of trotting and cantering with lots of long walk breaks in-between. Yesterday I took him into the arena for the first time since the accident. There was no spooking and no silly business. I don't know what set him off on Monday. My good friend was watching and she says Jack's trot has improved at lot (YUS!). Instead of his mincing little steps he doing much bigger ones.

Today after a good long warm up in one of the paddocks I took him into the arena again to start some schooling. He has no clue what leg-yield is so we started off with lots of serpentines and figure 8's and I was able to get a couple of steps of leg yield from him which is good enough for me for the first day. We also worked on transitions. Jack has been running into the canter and so today it was all about precision. Lots of transitions got him listening to me. He started collecting himself and was very light in my hands which I was pleased about. By the end of the session his transitions were beautiful, even the downward transitions which usually are all over the place. I noticed towards the end that when I ask for a canter I kind of jump into the canter. Instead of sitting and letting the canter happen I kind of stand in my stirrups a bit which gets me out of balance and then takes me a couple of strides to get my position back. Its hard to explain but the next time I asked for a canter, I sat quietly and it was stunning! It was the best canter of the day and I was very proud of myself for noticing my fault and correcting it. It can be so hard schooling by yourself since it can be hard to see whats going wrong.

I've been tossing the idea of setting up a video camera on a tripod so I can tape my sessions and see whats happening. Has anyone done something similar to this before?


Chris said...

Congrats on getting that canter! I've not had myself filmed but have definitely been told I should do so to be able to critique self!

I did have mirrors along the arena I rode in for my Cert. II but think filming a riding session is a great idea.

Good luck with it!

Mae said...

My riding instructor video tapes our dressage lessons and then critiques them for us. It helps a lot!

R J said...

Just wanted to congratulate you on getting that canter. It reminded me of my horse wonderful horse, Blackstorm. A true companion during my horse riding camps at Woodland Horse Center, Maryland. Even after so many years, I still visit him at the center during my holidays. If you're panning to buy more horses or get a horse on lease then, this is the right place for you. Browse through their website Woodland Horse Center, Maryland, to know more about the various horses they offer.

Katie said...

Thank you!

I dont think I'll be importing a horse from America anytime soon though :)