Holy Cow! What a great ride on Woobie (aka Varro) today! He was a little lazy so I thought this would be a great time to work on my walk/free walk transition. Varro has a habit of popping his head up when I start collecting the reins and then anticipates me asking him for a trot and gets quite uppity about it! Today I spent a good 10 minutes just doing figure 8s in my arena. I have a schooling size dressage arena so my figure 8s are more like 2 ice cream cones, pointy ends in the center. I would let him free walk on the diagonal and then collect him up on the short sides. After about 8 or 9 passes, he relaxed and just let me take up the reins and keep the same steady pace in his walk... SCORE!
Our next task was to move on to some trot work. He was his usual pretzel self and a bit grumpy about it. Usually when he gets like this my trainer hands me a crop, but alas this was a solo ride and the crop was in my trailer. I had to figure a way to get Woobie engaged with out it. I used the same figure 8 and would encourage him to trot straight down the diagonals then let him walk on the short sides. Once he was going well I would do a circle at A then walk at C. We finished up our trot work with trotting the whole arena and keeping a steady rhythm in each direction.
Our final issue was MY issue. Now that Varro was going forward willingly and straight, it was time to work on MY canter position. We used the same figure 8 but I would ask for a canter on alternate ends. His transitions were amazing! I felt really good and balanced in the saddle. I finally found my balance and really felt as if I didn't need the stirrups to balance myself and was able to press my lower leg on him to keep him going without kicking him! I cannot wait for Liz to see us!