The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Saturday, August 01, 2009

First August lesson with Fran

In accordance with the forecast the morning began dismal and wet. Other Dad came early and gave Dibby and me fresh haynets for after our breakfast. Dad came at ten for a lesson at 11.00. We tacked up in plenty of time and Dad had his shiny best boots on since his chaps were being repaired.
We had plenty of time to warm up on a long and then shorter rein and began the lesson with softening exercises on a circle - inside leg into outside rein with flexions on the inside hand and some to the outside when I set my neck and jaw. Generally Dad tried to move the reins gently and hold a conversation with my mouth even when I was soft. He also tried to ride every step rather than sit back and let me evade.

We leg yielded a little and went into shoulder fore. I moved forward quite well but my head position stayed at 45 degrees or so longer than Dad had hoped. We carried on working on both reins and added some sitting trot and I eventually gave and did some better work between Dad's hand and leg and working better into the bridle. I still set my jaw occasionally, especially on halt transitions, but Dad was firm and moved my head until I softened and we then moved off in a more correct outline.
We worked on figures of eight in sitting trot, trying to keep the same degree of contact, softness and roundness on each rein and added a little leg yield on the circles, aiming all the time to sustain the elusive roundness and softness . This still lapsed periodically, but showed improvement on previous sessions.
Once I was more consistently round, we added some transitions up into canter. I went off on the correct leg and Dad worked on getting me bent to the inside and sitting as deep as he could. We cantered on both reins and will practice more where the quality of the trot is good enough. Fran was pleased that I wasn't running away in canter and that it was more under control. Dad was pleased too.
We finished off the lesson by working long and low in walk and then trot on both reins to stretch my neck and back.
My tracking up was improved in walk and in canter and Dad's lower leg seemed much more steady in his shiny best boots than jodhopper boots and chaps. We came in for minties and a sponge down ands went out to join Dibby without a rug.

We have lots to practice before our next lesson including more softening/flexion exercises, general strengthening, leg-yield in and out of a circle, squares with turns on the forehand at the corners, shoulder in/fore down the long side, rein back and transitions to walk or trot, halt/trot transitions, rising and sitting trot with longer periods of roundness, outline and on-the-bittedness and canter both ways. We need to focus on achieving better quality trot when I am more between the hand and leg generally and particularly when going into up canter with good inside bend, Dad sitting up straight and into the saddle and with hands lower. Dad will be more careful with the crop in canter and let me do more of the work, even though I occasionally lose impetus. Generally in trot Dad's hands need to be lower and not so far up my neck - at about the point where my breast plate strap rests on my neck. So... a positive lesson in the dry with plenty to work on going forward.


Blogger Athenrye said...

He has a lovely hind leg action in the first picture. Looks like a great lesson again

8:49 PM  
Blogger Deryck Solomon said...

Thanks; I enjoyed it. I was pleased when we stayed round for a while. Tiring though, isn't it?

I caught the end of your lesson and the extended canter - very controlled and impressive!

11:58 PM  
Blogger Athenrye said...

it is exhausting but I rode today at new place and practicing what we work on in lessn really helped keep him concentrate.

we must all be getting fitter though!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the first pic, clever pony.

8:46 PM  

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