Friday, January 3, 2014

Trot lateral work

Had another outstanding flat school tonight.  Focused only on the walk and trot tonight, with key points once again being in front of the leg and connection with the outside rein.  We did some square turns and leg yields at the walk and walk stretches.  By the end of the 10 minute walking warm up, we had a really nice, forward, swinging walk going with him well in the bridle in a shorter outline.  Felt great!  That continued in the trot and I was so, so pleased with how he went.  Long story short:

- Great impulsion in the trot right away
- Good, deep stretching in the trot relatively early on
- Smooth and elastic transition to a shorter rein and raising his poll, without changing the quality of the trot
- Was very soft, responsive and willing to play with lateral movements at the trot
- Did our first left AND right leg yields at the trot tonight
- Got a couple steps of shoulder in!

Pre-ride coma
Some horses can get tense with lateral work, Soon is very much the type that stays very mellow and consistent if the rider stays the same.  I did some tight square turns at the sitting trot - successful in both that he shortened up his stride, kept rhythm and moved his shoulders around, but also in that I sat his trot easily and there was no tension.  I have not done a lot of sitting trot with him as I don't feel like he has the muscling to correctly sustain a lot of that work, and I probably won't do much for several more months, save for some light lateral schooling.  A couple of our leg yields were posting, a couple were sitting, all were relatively successful.  Not perfect, but he gave me a few steps of what I was looking for each time.  I'll continue to play with that for a couple minutes on most rides, just enough for him to keep learning, but not enough to drill.

We had a lot of that better quality trot again tonight.  So light, responsive, soft...I really need to take video because he's on
a totally different level from back in September.  Very happy with this recent progress and so thrilled with his attitude.  He feels great physically, but also seems very content during and after the ride.  I really should take more pictures of him after the ride is over, because his little ears are up and he's so pleased with himself, as if to say "I did really great, didn't I?"

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