Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lesson with Kim - Position Revisited (Again.)

So if you've been worrying that the blog has been a little light on Ringo action of late, never fear! The Prowler has been alive and well, and got some well-deserved limelight today in my lesson with Kim. I admit that I've been having a few struggles with him recently, as the weather change has made him EXTREMELY VOLATILE and even spookier than normal, so I've been spending a lot more time trying to complete a sane circuit of the arena than I have actually working. Despite this somewhat remedial route that we've been on, he came out with his best hoof forward for his lesson and was a total star, even when Kim really pressed both of us to the edge of our comfort zones.

After warming up, we set to work on the canter, and especially strengthening the canter through the addition of some lateral work. Here was the process of straightening the canter to the left using a spiral in/spiral out and then a leg yield:

I'm not very happy with my hands in this video (or any of the video my dad got - ugh!!), but other than that was very pleased. As you can see, Ringo came out a little stuck in his canter and wringing his tail, which Kim believes might be linked to some arthritis in his hocks. He's currently not on any supplements whatsoever, so perhaps some Adequan is in his future.

After getting the canter established, we moved on to one of the more difficult exercises I've done with Kim: starting in counter canter, we began by leg yielding away from the wall, developing a shoulder fore feeling on the quarter line, and then half-passing back to the wall. It required a lot of fast thinking and management on my part! But Ringo was a star:

It was great to feel like, by the end of the exercise, I really had control of both sides of Ringo's body--something I normally struggle with. And the flying change at the end was one of our better efforts as a result - excellent!

After a break, we returned to the trot. I'm (as always) pretty unhappy with my sitting trot, so we started out with doing some forward/back within the gait while sitting to try to get me feeling a little more solid with my position:

Despite my stiff and whacky hands, I actually thought I did pretty well. My main weaknesses in my sitting trot are my wobbly core and my flopping ankles. Kim really got after me to try to keep as solid as possible, and while it's not totally visible, I do think I did better as a whole on that front. The road to a Charlotte Dujardin-style sitting trot is still a looooooong one from here, though (perhaps infinitely so! But I'm staying positive, haha)

After that we worked on some shoulder in before moving on to half pass at the trot. I typically struggle with this movement with my own body, especially to the left, but tonight felt pretty positive with how we did:

The right half pass felt even better. By the end, I was MASSIVELY tired. I think I need a fitness regimen!! But I was super proud of how Ringo had performed, and thankful as always for Kim's guidance. I have some good homework (position, position, position! Will I ever leave a dressage lesson without positional homework? Doubtful.) and I'm excited to keep working before my next lesson... If I can keep my spooky steed firmly within the arena!

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