I took my last two tests with me as a reference for Chemaine. Rather than learn any new exercises, all I wanted to do was school the tougher movements of test 3. After discussing the judge's scores and comments, we decided to address three main areas - the leg yield, the 10-meter circles, and the canter work (15-meter circles, lengthening, and single loop).
I have two trouble spots on the leg yield. First, It takes me too long to get the left bend for the leg yield right, and second, I lose the shoulder. To help me fix this, Chemaine gave me a "process" for keeping my wet noodle of a horse packaged up better.
- In the deepest part of the corner (A/K) change the bend so that the horse is slightly counter bent as he comes out of the corner. This way the horse is already bent away from the direction of travel.
- DON'T look in the direction of travel. Instead look to the inside, in my case, toward E.
- Think shoulder in to keep from losing the shoulder.
- Leg yield to X, BUT leave some time to straighten the horse.
- If the horse is hanging on the right rein (SPEEDY!), bend right and do a10-meter circle at X/B/X, and then leg yield to H while looking at C or M.
- Do not let the shoulder fall to the rail. Correct this with the outside rein by shortening the stride in front.
10-Meter Trot Circles
- For the first circle to the right, I need to half halt in the corner and think shoulder in as we come to R. I need to GET the right bend and then maintain it by asking for it over and over.
- As we come down the long side, keep thinking shoulder in with energy.
- When we turn right at B, KEEP THE BEND.
- Instead of slamming into the halt, half halt and then give him 1 or 2 steps to balance into the halt. I also need to ask him to stand for a really long time at home, and then pat him.
- As we turn left at E, think shoulder in to V.
- For the left circle, push him forward, and then turn. Push and turn. Push and Turn. This should help with with the needs more energy problem.
- To the right, I need to get a bend and keep it. If not, he's going to be too straight.
- To the left, push and turn, push and turn.
- I also need to begin the turns at C and A by watching the quarter line to help with the bend.
- Half halt in the corner and really make him sit. This will show a clearer transition.
- If I half halt well, the canter will be more uphill and not just quicker.
- At B, both directions, I need to start thinking about having him sit a bit to come back to working canter on time.
- Into the corner, I need to open my outside rein to draw his shoulder out which also gives us inside bend.
- As we leave the corner and straighten, I need to open the right rein and add left leg. This will push his shoulder back over.
- Sit on the left seat bone to get the trot.
- Firm up the new outside rein, soften the inside rein, pick up the left lead canter.
Besides tweaking these movements, Chemaine also encouraged me to keep my chin up, literally. When I curl, Speedy curls! Riding with my chin up will help a lot.
The next show, Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) is in just a week. The changes I am looking to make are all small, but if done correctly, they'll be really effective!