Like I said yesterday, I had a great lesson with Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables. For the first part of the lesson, we used the leg yield to position Speedy's haunches for the half pass. For the second part of the lesson, we used the half pass to set Speedy's haunches in position for a flying change. If you had told me two months ago that I would be writing those two sentences at the beginning of 2019, I would have laughed. Hard. Go us, I guess.
I am not sure how I got so lucky - good breeding?, but Speedy's changes have been clean from the very beginning. We've only been working on them since September. They're still a bit hard to control, and he has already reached the point of tossing them in any time he's not sure what I am asking for. I think this is a good problem to have though.
The main trouble I am having with the flying change is that he thinks that when we're cantering and I touch the outside rein, it means CHANGE. Sorry to disappoint, dude, but it doesn't. This is where Chemaine used the haunches in exercise to help him out.
As we cantered down the long side, Chemaine wanted me to put him in a haunches in position so that when we made the ten-meter half circle at the end of the long side, his haunches would be in place for the half pass. Speedy felt me pick up that outside rein and then leaped into the air ready to change. When I kept my outside leg back AND maintained the bend, he hit the ground with a disappointed thud. He might have also called me a bad name.
To combat this, Chemaine showed me yet another new exercise. As we cantered down the long side, she instructed me to ask for a ten-meter circle if he even thought about changing when I touched the outside rein. We did a lot of ten-meter circles.
While we still have a lot to work on, we were able to get the flying change after a version of a canter half pass.
I just love this horse. there is no end to his try. He might express his opinions occasionally, and he can get sassy about things, but he always tries.
Today is the last day of my Christmas break. On Monday it's back to the grind, but I feel as though I got a lot done with the boys over the holiday. Enjoy your weekend. I know I will.