Tuesday, November 5, 2013

You know it's Lateral Work Night if...

...Mommy breaks out the dressage whip and all we do is walk around for 40 minutes.  :)

Soonie worked pretty hard last night (it was Cavaletti Night!  Isn't it cute/lame that I have theme nights?), so tonight was our easier school. He's done some introductory leg yields, but tonight I wanted to really start laying the framework for a more solid understanding of lateral work.  We started off in hand, worked on turn on the forehand cues, and more leg yields in hand.  Was really trying to reinforce keeping his shoulders and hips straight while encouraging that crossing over of the inside hind (yielding toward the outside rail).  The in hand stuff went very well (it was a refresher, he had done some of that as well awhile ago), so on to the mounted stuff.

That also went well, and after he was warmed up he was really stepping under himself with his hinds and was soft in the bridle.  Leg yields felt much more balanced, straighter, and soft, and he had that "lightbulb" moment with turn on the forehand.  I only need one good step off that lateral cue, and I got it!  I let that sink in and let him think about it a second, then did the other direction.  Good step.  Rinse/repeat a few times, and I think he has a much clearer idea of what I'm looking for there.  Haven't introduced turn on the haunches yet, that will come with time, though he's already starting to move his shoulders in some of the walking warm up exercises we do.

So all we did was walk around tonight, but it was actually probably more productive than last night's school in terms of progress and understanding.  Last night was more conditioning work, tonight was clarifying a whole new skill set.  As usual, he was super smart and so good! :)

Napping before the start of the ride (WHOA HORSEY)

It is not fair how unbelievably adorable he is

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