Olympus Ranch Stables

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Elusive Stretchy Trot

I have been reading a fellow Dressage Rider's blog: www.bakersfielddressage.com/

I feel I have found a "Kindred Spirit."  Karen is riding and showing at the same levels I am and writes a new post nearly everyday! I have been following her blog for about 2 months and have been trying a few of the exercises she has tried. Karen also rides a TB and an Arabian! Her Arabian is almost exactly like Varro! So with that intro; I am going to chat about our ride today!

Varro has trouble engaging his hind end and makes "lazy" transitions. (By lazy I mean argumentative and resistant) The first thing we did tonight was to free walk around the arena one lap in each direction to warm up. Then I asked for a trot.... of course he argued and I asked for a halt. I then asked for a trot from the halt. He went forward better this time I trotted him about 6 or 7 paces then halt again. I went like that around the arena both directions. By the time I finished my first lap, he was very active behind and was very responsive to my cues! After the trot/halt work, I let him free walk on a loose rein for a 20 m circle then went to the canter/halt transition work. He did great! Once we did our final halt I asked for a trot and let him take the reins for a STRETCHY TROT! It was beautiful. We did it in both directions. This was truly a milestone for Varro. Usually when I try to get the stretchy trot, he either breaks into a canter or just falls into the circle and walks. Tonight was a super win! Our ride was all of 20 min long but I felt with so many milestones it was better to end on a strong positive note than to ask for more and possibly get into a big argument!