Today, we got our groove back! We were finally back in action and I was so thrilled. Our warm up was fantastic - Z was right with me all the way. Today, Dave wanted the advanced group doing Spotlights. Ugh! I didn't want to do one!!
Z and I were able to try the question box exercise with counter cantering and we got a wonderful lead change! She changed in the front and then in the back, but it was a blast. Her canter departs were fine and we stayed in large circles.
He showed the L2/3 students how to ride the falling leaf. He talked about teaching the horse to put their head down in a scary situation and beginning to discuss the 8 ways to bend (moving the hind and fore with the head into the turn and away from the turn).
Dave talked about overuse, misuse and underuse of tools - the 3 ways to dull tools.
We should teach our horses to trot sideways with their head down. There are many reasons to drop their heads: eat, because they've been trained to, they're ready to buck, submission and to stretch. Practice head down with controlled catastrophe! Have someone stimulate with scary things while you ask the horse to drop their head.
Check out Jec Aristotle Ballou.
Dave talked about things to do with obstacles, like a barrel: push it, jump it, 1/2 jump it, stop at it.
He talked about the importance of learning to straddle a ditch. We went out into the pasture and all practiced. Z and I did it mounted with no issues. Dave told the story of how they had to straddle a ditch every single day at the study center during a 3 month training stay until the horse would stop and ask every day - do you want me to straddle the ditch?