I have been following Karen's Dressage Blog and have been getting some really great ideas for my daily rides. I read her post this morning and thought I would try one of the exercises she described. I tried the "easiest" one on my ride today, but more on that in a little bit.
For my warm up today, I set the trot poles out and did a free walk around the outside of the dressage arena walking over the poles to help him pick up his feet. After 2 laps in each direction we moved inside the dressage court and did a combination of free walk/ collected walk just like last week. Then moved onto the trot. Varro was a bit of a pretzel the first time I asked so I asked for a halt and a turn on his haunches and asked again, he took of just fine. I did 2 laps of the whole arena in each direction then started doing figure 8s asking for some extension along the diagonals. He was going forward beautifully! He was well balanced and willing! I felt his back round up and he dropped right into the connection! It was glorious!
After 4 diagonals in each direction I gave us both a break and did some free walk 20m circles. I then decided to try one of the exercises I told you about..."The up up down." Now when I read it, I thought easy! I can do this! All you have to do is pay attention to your horse's rhythm and stay in the 2 point (up) for 2 beats and sit (down) for 1 beat. Easy, Right? Well, not so much! My personal balance was all over the place! Just a few minutes before Varro and I were a perfect, balanced and well timed team! Now I felt like a beginner trying to learn to post all over again! Poor Varro was so confused but I kept at it on the diagonals until I could kind of keep time... I will have to work on it!
I then moved on to some cater work and did whole arena followed by 20m circles at each end. I transitioned to a trot on the diagonals. We finished up with a free walk around the outside of the using the trot poles like we did for the warm up. Varro was awesome for the entire ride! I just love him!