Finding the Hind Leg

I was really happy with the girls today! I had a super lesson on Flow, where we got right to the changes after the warm up. Here she is really getting it!

After this, Jen got on to work more on getting the hind leg quick, sitting and connected. It was so helpful to watch from the ground. This is the second time Jen has gotten on Flow. No one else has ever ridden her, so it’s very odd, but wonderful, for me to sit and watch her go. I could really see how she needs to initiate the sitting behind in the trot from all the way up in her pelvis. She naturally does this in the canter. In the trot, her front legs get so big and fancy, you can just watch her pull herself apart. It’s more obvious for me in watching, that when she starts doing this, I need to immediately walk or canter and then go back to trot. It feels like you can fix it from within the trot, but when she’s gotten disconnected like that, it’s like we have to press reset and start over. Jen got many really super reactions from Flow behind. It’s so exciting to see how active and underneath herself she can be. She’s really going to get this, and when we can keep it together for more than a few strides, it’s going to be amazing!

Blush and Lily were also great. When I can get Blush sitting behind and up in her shoulders in the canter, the changes are really good! Normal I don’t think of tempi changes as a very helpful exercise to improve things, but more as a test, to see if the rider can keep the connection, team straightness, etc. But when Blush does a good change, she stride of the change is the actual canter we are after. So when she learns to do tempis, I think it will really be a way to improve and open up her canter. She is so different than Flow in this way, because she is naturally so much better connected in trot, and it is so much harder in canter. But she’s getting it!

Lily is also really understanding the balance we want across her shoulders in canter. We worked again on making the ideal walk to canter transition, so that very first stride with the inside hind was big and jumping and not either slow or short behind. When I have the ideal walk to canter, then I almost always have a good change right away.

My mom is down visiting, and we are having fun with the kids! We fed Giraffes at Lion Country Safari 😀 My mom loves giraffes, so this was a dream come true!!

Sticking his tongue out for the camera 😋

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