I started T off on the ground, doing turns on the forehand and leg yields. Alfredo stepped in and showed me a better way to hold the reins if I'm working without side reins, and also pointed out that I need to be more demanding. I can't accept a half-hearted response from T... I don't need to be mean, but if I ask, he has to respond RIGHT NOW. He's not a hot horse, but he still needs to get his butt moving when it's time to move his butt.
Day 2 of the clinic saw a lot more work on shoulder in and renvers, first on the circle and then on the straight line. Taran was much more off my leg from the beginning after his little bit of ground work, so that helped. When I struggled with the positioning of renvers on the circle, Alfredo pointed out how much easier it would be on a straight line, and of course he was right.
This shit is hard BUT LOOK AT THAT CROSSOVER
Also, activating the hind end makes for a hella fancy trot.
Eventually we were allowed off the circle and got to do travers/renvers/travers on the quarterline. Taran was SO soft and responsive off my leg, even though I didn't always do a great job riding him through (that whole bend thing). It was amazing to be able to move his body back and forth with so little effort.
We didn't do a lot of canter - he was pretty tired and a little flat. Alfredo had us try some shoulder in/haunches out at the canter which is pretty much impossible but DAMN it gets the horse engaged and collected, for like those two steps you can both hold it together.
- Warm up with haunches out on the circle, then move on to renvers once the horse has warmed up, because that's what helps with the collection.
- When you've done renvers on the circle and gotten really good sideways steps with bend, switch to regular bend and ask for a bigger trot (but not faster). That's when you get the real engagement.
- If you think you have enough bend, you need twice as much.
- I tend to lose the throughness (the "round and deep") because I'm pulling and getting handsy. Long time problem, but keeping my hands together and down, with my elbows bent, helps lots.
- When you ask for a downward transition, ALWAYS keep the bend through the transition. If you're doing shoulder fore/renvers/shoulder in/half pass/leg yield/whatever, KEEP THE BEND. That way the horse steps through with the inside hind into the next gait.
- Taran is no longer allowed to grab the reins and drag them out of my hands for free walk. He must "take them like a gentleman".
Sorry, just one more pic of the awesome uphill trot. I NEED this in my life!