FLYING LEAD CHANGES!
The moment we've all been waiting for...
So, in preparation, check ribs with Snakey Bends. Make sure you ALWAYS have relaxation! I have to demand this in my lessons with Dennis. Also, if there's a behavior during Finesse riding that you want to lesson, exhaust it!
FYI: Left-brained horses typically DON'T like their faces petted. Right-brained horses typically DO like it.
We worked a lot on getting shoulders in and haunches in. A tip given was to get straight on a circle going really well. Once it is, move together in a straight line and you'll have your shoulders or haunches in. Played with that quite a bit and will continue to do so.
Flying Change Ladder:
1. Transitions -
- Cha-ching with suspension rein until the head drops
- canter/walk transitions (Best when cantering 5-7 strides)
if your horse gets emotional, walk longer between canter departs. Work on impulsion!!
2. Swinging the shoulders
- build to swinging shoulders at the canter, but start at a walk.
- focus on your weight shift to help the shoulder get soft and fluid
- use your stick for support when building this (as with moving the hind)
- practice walk/canter transitions with a walk in straight of the serpentine
- use cones to mark your straight and your canter depart
- Practice: transition down with suspension rein, shift weight, swing shoulders, canter depart
4. Flying change!
- simply eliminate the walk in the serpentine
Practice the ladder using finesse and concentrated rein until you no longer need the reins.
A "slip change" is a lead change over a few strides. These are good - means the horse is putting it all together and trying to manage the flc.
I realize I need to ride with my carrot stick ALWAYS! I need it to get good, light responses and I need to become savvy enough to manage my horse with reins and the stick together. Linda is working on a Finesse stick that's lighter and easier to manage than the carrot stick, but the recommendation will be to get good with the carrot stick first.
Tips: If the suspension rein gets heavy, lift it higher!
Using the suspension rein, put weight on the outside cheek, lift inside suspension rein and push with inside thigh (asking the horse to bend at the ribs).
The Serpentine pattern is VERY important. Build it - it's a positive pattern
Z and I rode in front of the class in the demo and my focus was to keep her relaxed. She did amazingly well! She did get worried a couple times, but I was able to immediately respond and bring her back to me. I was proud of both of us and demoing was a good friendly game for me. I was nervous and wanted to retract my volunteer offer. She gave me her best and I made sure to take care of her emotionally. We got several compliments after the demo and one from an instructor! We've come a long way and we are going to make it.
I played some games with Kim and Molly (leapfrog around the big top) then with Chance (circle the other at a higher gate). All of this was great practice for us and Z's emotions were better every day.