On Tuesday we had a lesson. Despite the cold, Cupid was relatively forward in our walk warm up. He was wearing his wool exercise sheet, which seems to help. I was continuing to focus on my elbows. It still feels unnatural, and I can feel the pulling across the fronts of my shoulders where I am tight. I'll have to figure out stretches or exercises I can do in the gym to help with that.
Cupid did a mini spook the first two times we went on one of the short sides, and my trainer said it was probably the coops (jumping, not chicken) that were on the other side of the wall. So I let Cupid look over the wall, and he snorted and balked a few seconds but then ignored them the rest of the ride.
We did a fairly long trot set, mostly 20 meter circles and serpentines, before going into canter. We started to the right, and the new arm position felt especially odd in the transition since I'm so used to shortening the reins and holding my hands up the neck. My trainer noticed that I had made a conscious effort to hold my elbows, and said that must have felt strange but keep doing it. We completed our 20 meter circle and headed up the long side. Cupid's canter got a little bigger than usual, but this time I was a little more comfortable than the last time he did it and just continued on as I was. We circled on the short side and down the next long side, then another complete lap. We changed direction and I got the left lead on the second try, but we broke on the long side. That same spot, a few strides out from the corner we always seem to have a problem. (Meaning I should know it's coming and make sure I keep my leg on!!) I think it took 3 tries to get the left lead canter back, with me resisting the urge to use my inside rein. Though I did make our circle a little smaller when we finally got it. We went back down the other long side (where we usually don't have a problem breaking), and down transitioned on a circle on the short side. A little stretchy trot before a walk break.
|It's an improvement from before.|
We ended with another trot set doing leg yield exercises both down the rail and on the circle. On the circle we leg yielded out to get on the outside rein, then I would push my inside hand forward to test the connection and ask for a bigger trot, before shortening again then back to the leg yield out. My trainer said Cupid was responding positively to the changes I'm making, and was carrying himself better and more through. Apparently the past 3+ years now he's just been waiting for me to get my act together!