From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally. An Update

The past week or so have been busy. I have had two wonderful, and much needed, lesssons with my Auny on Sunday the 19th and Wednesday the 22nd. So...let's start out with that.

First, we worked on straight! She had me picture Jet as a rectangle with the corners being his ears and hips and everything else had to stay in that box. Everything had to be straight, or we would form some sort of trapezoid. Not too long after we started, he was going very well in each direction! I have to say that he did much better going to the left, his good way.

We then practiced my dressage test (Intro B). First time...was...uhh... disatrous. My Aunt know the way I think and broke it down so it was easy to think about and comprehend. First of all, she said the judges are looking for straightness, transitions, even tempo, and roundness of the circles.

First, we corrected the trot down to center line, the salute, then trotting off. He tends to drift to the right when I ask for the trot so she had me ask him with only my right leg and seat. This helped a BUNCH and he actually moved forward and straight.

Then we focused on the circle. Mine turned out to be an oddly shaped egg. The told me to think about it in fourths. Each fourth starts with a clean slate. This helped me relax and think about what I had to do and not rush it. As we did the circles, as we came to a new fourth, mentally I could comprehend that I was starting at a new point and could regather myself and Jet if I needed to. When we got it right, it was amazing! We did this in both directions. Going to the right however...he did his odd kick out to the side multiple times...more on that later in the post.

The we worked on the change of direction. She reminded me not to go corner to corner. I had to allow myself enough time to finish the first corner, straighten him out on the diagnol then switch the bend and then come behind the corner so when I reached the rail on the diagnol, I had time to organize the corner and actually ride it, and not ride into it.

This lead to our trot to walk transition. When I first practiced the test, I rushed the diagnol, went right into the corner, made a tight turn, and it resulted in an awkward transition. Once I had time to be on the rail and think about it, the transition was 10000% better!

Then the free walk. Jet waddles at the walk. So I have to allow free movement while really supporting with my seat and legs to keep him somewhat unwaddley. This was actually pretty good by the end.

We then had the walk to trot transition. Once again, he tried to buldge to the right. He also didn't want to pick it up at all in his bad direction. I just kept asking and asking and asking with my right leg and eventually we got the transition.

On Wednesday, we added a new concept. I had to connect the corners of his rectangle diagnolly. I had to use my inside leg, my seat, then catch the energy I created with my outside hand. To start this, we worked on big bubbly figure eights with a straight line when I changed direciton. We would go one direction, go stragiht, then switch the bend and push him to the rail that way. He really started to get it and engaged his hind inside leg!

On Sunday after the lesson, my wonderful Aunt (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) had her massuse give Jet a massage. He had a ton of tight spots. Especially his right shoulder, lower back, hind end, ect. He was also VERY sore on his right front in the back of his tendon on his lower leg. Everytime she would feel it, he would pull away and pin his ears. Not good... Thankfully...I have been checking everyday and there is no heat, swelling, and the pain has gone down!! He no longer flinches when it is pinch tested, We are thinking maybe he stepped funny on a rock or twisted something in the mud or maybe since he had thrush he was over compensating in his leg. Whatever it was, hopefully it is gone now. Also, his back was very tight and out of whack. After she moved things around and worked her magic, I heard  his back brack about 7 times! She hopedully popped everything into to place and it has definitely showed in the way he is moving! He doesn't waddle as much anymore! And he is able to move off of my leg so much easier! YAY!

I have been working with him on the things I learned and he has made huge progress! I can't wait for my next lesson to show my Aunt how we have improved!

Unfortunately, we did not get accpeted into the Flatlands dressage Show. We are thinking it is either because of parking limitations (they can only fit a few trailers) or that my entry never got there...hmmm...

Anyways, it has been raining and will keep raining for a while so no riding for a few days :( We are VERY busy in October too. I'll keep you updated!

THANK YOU Blogger for finally letting me log on (:

-Emily and Jet