Friday, September 4, 2009

Dressage with Gem

Had a great lesson with Gem from Loma tonight. He is going so nicely and often over-collecting a little. We worked on building his working trot to a nice energetic place so he looks like he's going somewhere. We also focused on maintaining the rhythm and relaxation through turns and changing reins on the circle. He was a willing partner and really trying. I was comfortable and confident in our ability, as well.

Apparently, I'm turning my body into the circle and I have to focus on staying straight. I have to lift my inside shoulder and hip and ride Gem straight, but on the circle. I have a tendency to turn my body on the circle (Parelli training) which is incorrect for dressage. Interesting!

We did some nice cantering too. His transitions up were soft and easy and we would pretty quickly come back down to the trot. I have to be sure I don't squash the forward momentum for the down transition. I should ask for the down with my seat while I'm in the air. I'm going to keep working on that concept. Gemini, in the beginning of the lesson, would fall into the down transition, getting heavy on the fore. However, by the end, I had him softly transitioning down while staying engaged and forward.

When he over-collects, I can ask for a little more forward and that should bring his head out some. If I feel the need to ride with my stick aid, use it wisely (I practice this everyday thanks to the Parelli program). I have to be sure to engage my stick as phase 4 and then go back to neutral.

I also have to be sure to not get behind in the canter. Loma wants me more with the energy than I usually ride - more on top of the momentum. It's a different style than with Parelli, for sure. So far, I think I can manage the two worlds ok.

Cool stuff!

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