March 18, 2011
I trailered Jackson over to the barn where I have been working. They have an indoor arena!
I saddled Jackson up with the English saddle and the bitless bridle. I rode without stirrups. I do feel that my balance has improved because I feel pretty secure in the saddle, even without the stirrups.
I warmed Jackson up at the walk for a bit. I did some forward down as well as shoulder in and haunches in. I don’t know if it was correct or not, but Jackson goes very easily into haunches in. After that, we did some trotting. Forward down and also a little more collected. I don’t feel as if I am strong enough to post without stirrups so I just stayed sitting the whole time.
Oh, while riding Jackson (and working the other horses in the barn) I tried very hard to keep my shoulders back and my chin up. I think I am making progress! My back/shoulder muscles are a little sore, which tells me I was using them. I do think that if I keep looking up, I will start to open my chest. Maybe I will get a video done next week. 😀
I did some work on our spins, which are much better. And I was working on our halts, mostly from the walk with just a few stops from the trot.
Then, the highlight of the day for me was our canter work. I worked a little on canter departs from the walk. The first time I asked, I said “canter” and before I even cued with my leg, Jackson had done a very nice canter depart. Also, cantering to the right was the best. He kept it somewhat collected on a loose rein and I could tell he was steering off my seat. I loved having the arena to make sure I did straight lines, then turns. That was super helpful.
Cantering to the left, he was as collected. He seemed less able to gather himself. Is that because of the left hind not wanting to carry the weight?
Anyway, it was a lot of fun and Jackson did great!