For me, one of the very best things about a two-day clinic is that I get a chance to think about what happened on the first day and ask follow up questions on the next day.
Speedy threw a big fit about the leg yields on Saturday. I started questioning whether I was causing the problem by asking for way too much cross over. I suspected that he was getting frustrated with me if he was crossing that hind leg as far as he could. Was I asking for more than he could give?
I warmed Speedy up, but then I asked Chemaine to school him through the leg yields before I had a chance to irritate him. When I saw how he behaved with her, I realized it wasn't me after all. The leg yield was just hard for him, and he was expressing his opinion about it. I got a quick screen shot with Chemaine asking for the leg yield left, the same one we struggled with the day before.
One of the things I am guilty of is not asking for enough forward. It's not because I don't want more forward, but it's more difficult to balance and be effective in my aids with a bigger, more powerful stride. As such, Speedy just gets pokier and pokier, and I just tootle around oblivious to the power of which he is capable.
After working on the leg yields for a few minutes, Chemaine worked on Speedy's go forward button. When I got back on him, he practically lost me when he shot forward into a much more powerful trot. All I can say is give me more of that please! Everything was so much easier with a horse who was truly in front of my leg!
Chemaine pointed out that judges really respect riders who can maintain that energy even along the short side, so she had me ride laps around the arena. I half halted in all four corners, but I tried to push Speedy into a more energetic trot on the short sides as well as the long sides.
In this video (01:15 seconds), we're working on some canter transitions.
Tomorrow, my second lesson with Izzy.