Speedy and I have reached a certain level of okayness. We've laid a solid foundation, but now it's time to start finessing some things. I told JL that one area I can finally see that needs improvement is getting Speedy off my inside left leg. We need bend without him veering off in all the wrong directions. I am sort of sorry that I brought it up.
Here's what's happening according to JL (and it's not that I doubt her explanation; it's just that I can't make my body do what it needs to do to address the problem): Tracking left, I get a bend, and we make the corner, but as we come out of the corner, Speedy is still bent around my leg with his shoulders and butt still stuck in the bend. Even if I drop the inside rein this still happens.
He is simply crooked. As we come down the long side, his shoulders are falling in. My "solution," obviously the wrong one, is to add inside leg, leg, leg which creates a carousel-horse effect. As I add inside leg, his hind end is pushed out, but his front end just keeps swinging in.
Oy vey ...
- First begin a turn on the forehand so that the hind end gets into the corner.
- Then, finish by doing a turn on the haunches to get the weight onto the outside hind leg.
- If done correctly, you should theoretically have a straight horse.
- Uh-huh. Let's just say I was riding a pretzel and it wasn't the pretzel's fault.
- Repeat at least 1,000 times with the rider repeatedly saying, um, JL, I just don't understand what I am doing.
- Trainer offers to show rider who then follows on foot behind the un-pretzeled horse.
- Rider still shakes her head in frustration (yes, yes she is fairly stupid!).
- Rider gets back on and trainer eventually has rider simply make the turn by doing a turn on the forehand in an effort to get horse's butt over.
- When rider still couldn't feel/get the hind end beneath her, JL instructed her to get the front end pointing into the arena so that the hind end is pointing away.
- Rider finishes the day still clueless about straightness. JL makes a plan for the next lesson to be about swinging the hind end to the left, to the right, to the left, to the right.
Ay yay yay ... poor Speedy G.
p.s. rider has since done some TPR (total physical response) work since Monday's lesson. In teacher speak, TPR is when you have the student move their body during a lesson. Student finally had an AHA moment. More to come ...