June 25, 2012
Okay, I had a lot to work on today. I wanted to work on keeping my shoulders up and my chest open, by virtue of keeping my hands shorter and my reins longer. In the video, you will see that sometimes I remember and sometimes I would forget. When I would remember to keep my arms in, my chest just opened up, like magic! I had a hard time remembering to do it at the canter.
I also wanted to do some exercises to help prepare for lead changes. I did some trot/reinback/trot. I did some walk/leg yield/canter transitions. I felt we did all right at some of these. Enough so that when I decided to try a lead change, Jackson was apparently ready! It was funny, I took the right lead/counter canter, intending to turn to the left and then move Jackson’s shoulders to the inside (right) to ask for the change. As it happened, on the turn, I tried to be subtle and more the shoulders over and I guess he got it for he changed right away. He did change front to back, but it was not too bad! I didn’t realize it at first because I wasn’t asking yet, but then I praised him and we ended there.
I was pleased that keeping my arms “short” does really help me to open up. It is still a little shaky, but I think it is getting better. I have only had a few rides to practice it.
At one point, Jackson had a nice trot going and then gave me a nice square halt! I thought that was nice. You can see a slow motion shot of that at the end of the video.