The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Riding with our minds

Dibby and I went out to graze early this morning, but Dad came and brought me in by 10.00. He tacked me up and took me in the school at 11.00 to receive a Riding with your Mind lesson from coach Denise O'Reilly, who trained with Mary Wanless.

Denise saw Dad ride me in walk and trot on both reins and then spoke about the elements of Mary Wanless's method. Dad's stirrups were shortened and levelled and his riding position adjusted to bring his thighs onto the saddle behind the knee roll and calves off my side. He moved his seat forward in the saddle a little and adjusted his posture to balance on his seat bones -which he has always found difficult. Heels didn't have to be forced down but needed to be still and the hands were often lower and wider and sometimes pushed forward to give me the chance to take the bit forward and down.

The work in walk went well and I tracked up properly and went on the bit. Dad struggled with the trot a little more since it was necessary to rise from the knee and push the pelvis forward rather than rise too high. We eventually managed some reasonable strides in trot before the end of the session. It was noticeable that when Dad got his position right, I responded by softening, tracking up or going on the bit - so he will know when he's getting it right or not.

We found the lesson very interesting and will practice the techniques we covered in the hope of getting consistently on the bit and soft and moving better.

I went back out in the field whilst Other Dad and Dibby had their 45 minute session with Denise after 1.00. Dibby rejoined me after his lesson. We stayed out until about 4.00 and came in for grooming and tea. It will be interesting to see how Dad manages to build on today's tuition on his own - particularly with a group lesson pending under the lights tomorrow evening. Fortunately cobs try to be accommodating.


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