Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Exporing the the counter-bend

Today was a fairly hot day and I was pretty much dreading my lesson today. My usual lesson is Sunday mornings at 9am but tomorrow is Hubby's birthday so I wanted to reschedule. The ONLY open spot was at noon today... BLAH! Let me set the scene:

I love the heat! No seriously I love the heat. As soon as that thermometer reaches the high 80's I am one happy camper. I'm like Mr. Heat Miser! You know, from the television special "A Year Without a Santa Claus"

So anyway, I love the heat. I went out to tack up Varro at 11:30 for our lesson at noon. By the time I got him out of his corral and tacked up I was SWEATING! Yes ME! Just thinking about a lesson had sweat pouring off my brow! It was easily over 100 with a bit more humidity than usual and NO wind to speak of at all. I just sat on the mounting block and waited to see the dust coming of Liz's truck, mounted and started walking around.

Today's AH-HA moment is brought to you by the counter-bend! We did a lot of walking in today's lesson. We first did a 20 m circle and worked on a natural bend. Liz talked me through my first counter-bend!  After 1 or 2 laps around the circle I started getting it! I learned that there is no sure fire cue for a particular movement. Every part of your body influences your horse's body. You don't just pull in the rein to move the horse's head to achieve the counter bend, you influence the horse's shoulders and haunches to get it! It is important that you are self-aware of your own body when you are riding.

We also work a little on our trot transitions but not for long due to the heat. We got some lovely transitions without him tossing his head/dropping me.  Let me pause right here and tell you how much I love this boy!
I am not going to lie, he has been a challenge. I am learning the most of this challenge is because I was not a good enough rider to get the best out of him. Over the last 2 years, we have really become a good team. When I ride correctly and remember the basics and am self aware... He moves beautifully for me and is nice to ride. OK now back to the lesson recap:
We finished up the lesson doing figure 8 walking counter bends. One the first circle I do the natural bend, the second a counter-bend. Once I finish the first "8" I do the first schedule circle of the second "8" in the counter-bend and the second in a natural bend, and so on. It was a very good cool down.

1 comment:

  1. He is gorgeous! And I love riding the counter bend, especially at the canter. For Speedy, counter bend at trot fixes a lot; for Sydney, counter bend at canter fixes a lot. Keep at it as it is a great suppling tool. :0)