|Ries wants cookies-not hugs|
So I believe I can convince BF to come out once a week to take pics! wohoo!
The walk has improved a lot in the past few days. We start very forward and on the bit. I still want to work on stretching down into the contact. Yesterday we tried adding spiral in and out at the walk. I haven't done this before and actually found it to be a great exercise. It required us to maintain bed while also being straight in the shoulders (he likes to dive in), and we struggled the most at having forward energy in this exercise.
In order not to over nag him in the walk I worked on myself at the same time. I tried to keep an open hip, following seat, and following elbows. The more I relaxed into the position the better our walk became.
In the trot I really wanted to focus on a low stretchy trot while maintaining contact. We weren't able to get very long and low but we maintained contact and rhythm the whole time. I thought he was reaching a lot more but you can see in the pics he isn't stretching as well as he could. I'm taking this at baby steps because his reaction is to drop on the forehand and speed forward (very flat) when I ask for a lower frame. I am hoping little encouragements will help him understand to stretch down and out, stretching his topline and lifting his ribcage.
He was very sassy this ride ad tried to use his energy to go up/explode. He responded very well to me reminding him that we use our energy to go forward and was mostly well behaved. He is a big anticipator and during a canter transition tried to leap in the air (lol his baby leap is kind of pathetic). I wasn't too worried about a pretty transition because we haven't cantered in a few weeks. As suspected, he balled up and was doing the weird dolphin canter. I lengthened my reins and squeezed him forward. He relaxed and was able to open up his stride. It is my goal in the next few rides to have a more appropriate canter transition and start out more relaxed and forward. Poor guy gets very sensitive as the work gets more complicated.