Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Change In Tactics

I finally managed to get out to ride today. It was a beautiful day for it. Not too hot, not too cold.....just a beautiful fall day. We went for a little hack first, I wanted to enjoy the scenery a bit before settling down to the real work. Sometimes it's nice to warm up outside the ring, just to change things up a bit.

After our nice brisk hack we went back to the ring to get to work. Spider was less than enthusiastic, if he had his way we would have stayed on the trails. Some of the trails are quite wide and flat, I may go out and clear the stray sticks and debris so that we can actually do some real work out there. But that's a project for another day......

I've set a goal for myself. I've decided I want to be able to do consistently good simple changes by the time winter sets in. There's usually about two months here where riding is just not possible, and I want the simple changes to be set by then. I don't feel like having to mess around with them in the spring. We'll see how this goes!

In light of my new goal, I've also decided to try a new tactic. In order to get a good simple change, you need a good canter-walk-canter transition. In order to have a good canter-walk-canter transition, you need a good collected canter. In order to get a good collected canter, you need a fit horse! So Step One of my new plan is to ride more. Step Two is more complicated. In order to get the canter more and more collected while still maintaining the impulsion I need, I started spiraling in onto smaller and smaller circles. The trick is to keep him from breaking to trot until the last minute, when we're on the smallest possible circle he can maintain and I can feel that he's about to break, then I ask for the walk transition. So far, it's actually working pretty well. Because he's on such a small circle (less than 10m) I can't ask for a simple change, but right now I'm just concentrating on getting the canter-walk transition right. Eventually, as this exercise becomes easier and easier for Spider, I'll start asking for the canter-walk transition when the circle is larger. Then we'll graduate to simple changes.

That's the plan, anyway.

2 comments:

  1. It's good to have a plan - and it sounds like a good plan that should work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a plan to me. I had the simple changes on Tucker until this last bout with whatever was bothering him at the canter. Looks like I will be starting all over again too.

    ReplyDelete

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