The first exercise is a 3 loop serpentine at canter with changes of lead through trot. I rode it with the end loops being on the right lead, the center loop on the left. Penn does not like to switch from right to left (easy direction to hard) and enjoys plowing through me in the left to right ("Left is so hard, OMG WE'RE GOING RIGHT, I KNOW WHAT TO DO!"). Using the changes of bend in the serpentine to make it clear to Penn that I wanted the left lead after the right lead really helped and I was able to make the change in 4-5 steps. For the other change, if he plowed through me as we approached the change to the right, as soon as I got to centerline, I'd put him on a 10m circle left to find some balance before bending right and picking up the new lead. I'd put an extra canter circle into the middle loop since we weren't spending as much time on that lead. After a few times up and down the serpentine, he became very light and responsive and stopped plowing through me... until he got tired, haha.
The next one is an oldie but goodie, the trot cavalettis:
We of course have worked these before, but this is the first time outside and with 8 poles instead of 6. Working the poles inside seems to generate more lift, whereas outside, he seemed to just lift his legs out of the way and got flatter faster. By the end of the poles, it felt like the distances were too short for him (set at 4'6" and him being 15.3, they really shouldn't be too small!). If I remembered to add a half halt coming in, and a reminder half halt around pole 4 or 5, it helped a lot and he rebalanced himself. I ran out of butt power pretty quickly, which meant I didn't get to really fix it like I wanted to... but whatever, that's a losing battle so it's best to quit and start again another day where you can pick up where you left off, but with a fresh horse.
Screenshots from another video that started out well until he dragged one of the poles with him:
|1: I love this balance!|
2: Look how high I can lift my feet!
3: Slowly sneaking downhill that will lead to dragging the 6th pole with us.
Next post, my lesson with Stephen Birchall!