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It’s All There

September 5, 2010

I rode Carly, for the first time, in the dressage group lesson this morning.  Usually, I go for the jumping group – I don’t want to lose those skills while we work on improving our flatwork.   Our biggest challenge today was forward.  I am just starting to learning what forward truly means and how to get it.

The past few rides, Carly has not wanted to canter, and bucked when I tapped her with the whip (although she did canter after this).   I suspected the problem was rider error – not forward enough and fidgeting with my hands too much in an effort to get round.  She did buck once when I asked for canter this morning – and then, as we continued to work on forward – I got lovely transitions.

I have two things – both related – that I need to fix in my position to help us be forward and improve our transitions.

1 – No boobs.  I should not be sticking my boobs out when riding.  Neither should Carly,  I stick my boobs out, and she sticks her chest out and falls on to the forehand.  Both our chests need to be up.

2 – Flat back.  Don’t arch my back, tuck seatbones under and think of back being flat like I am pressing it against a wall.

“It’s all in there,” the trainer said at the end f the ride.  You need to work on keeping your back flat, and just using your legs to push her forward.  Don’t mess with your hands -you need to have a receiving hand and just use both reins, like a half halt to get her round.  But it is all in there.”

She makes it sound so easy – it probably is much easier than I am making it.

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