Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kim Lesson: Boot Camp Begins!

Wow! I needed that. On Tuesday I went to my first lesson since June, and my first lesson with Kim since December. I told her upfront that I wanted a boot camp overhaul, especially with my position, and she delivered! It was the most intense lesson with her I've ever had, and I left feeling exhausted but armed with a great sense of what I should be working on before I see her again.

We started with warming Ringo up at the trot while focusing on maintaining a steady, active tempo but being able to change his outline from stretchy to more 'up' without resistance. You can see us working on it here:



This is something he's gotten a lot better at this year, as I've made it a big priority right from January. He used to get tense very easily whenever I tried to take the reins back from stretching, no matter the gait, so it was good to feel him get better and better as we went along here at the trot instead of tenser and tenser.

We then did the same thing at the canter:



In the canter, I still definitely struggle in letting him 'down' into a stretchy canter without him either quickening or breaking to trot. It definitely shows where I need to keep building strength going forward, but I thought with Kim's help we still got some good work.

From there, we went to work on something that I've been struggling with recently: the shoulder in. I know that I've been struggling because my position has been failing me somewhere, but working on my own I haven't had a great idea of what I was doing wrong or how to fix it.

Kim immediately picked out a few key things for me to fix: my wandering left wrist, which tends to get very curled and turned over; my too-mobile lower leg, which is caused by not being totally engaged with my seat; and my shoulders, which tend to collapse to the left. This was a lot to work on! Here was an early shoulder in attempt:


He was getting stiff in some of the 10m circles because I was getting stiff in my body and collapsing to the inside. By being a stronger in my body, there was some notable improvement:


After a quick break (more for me than for Ringo, as I was feeling the burn from the improvements to my position Kim was giving me!), we moved on to the canter to work on some simple change, as we will be showing 2nd level this weekend where those are required.

Kim had me start out by develop some of the most collected canter I've ever gotten out of Ringo. I thought we were off to work on some pirouettes for a second! When we did second level last fall, I definitely was not able to produce this level of collected canter at any time, let alone in a test in order to produce a good simple change.



Overall, Kim was super complimentary of Ringo's improvements in the past year, commenting that he looked like a different horse. It's great to hear that my homework has been paying off! Now if I could get my riding back to the level I want it, we'd really be cooking with gas.

I'm a little nervous for this weekend, but am excited to get back in the show ring again. Let's go, Ray!!

2 comments:

Megs said...

You guys look great! Hopefully your show will go smoothly and you guys will have fun. Fingers crossed for a better judge than last time ;)

Katherine Erickson said...

Thanks Megs! Believe me, I've got fingers AND toes crossed for a better judge! haha

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