Canter work
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Sunday, September 23, 2007 11:16 PM
Most of my work today was canter work. I have started with counter-canter, lengthening on the long side and collecting him through the corners. I rode a diagonal to get to a true lead and finished with the serpentine. Both directions. I was working on keeping him straight not asking for too much bend and keeping his shoulders up and light.
Second exercise was figure eight 12-15 m in the center with the simple change. I was asking for the nice bend on the circles and I was bringing him to more collected canter before walk. It felt like the canter was so slow and balanced it was easy for him to walk. This way transitions to walk was very smooth, light and clean, not all of them of course, but I waited and repeated exercise until he started anticipate the walk and was responding to very light aids. I like this exercise a lot, it always goes well for me. I continued with serpentine 3 loops with simple changes ( my arena 40m - so my loops were 13m in diameter). Same thing, really collected canter almost on the spot before walk. When canter is very collected it is easy to ride the figures, almost like walking them. After a couple of serpentines I asked for medium canter along the wall letting him stretch a little bit. I cannot let him stretch like a long and low because in canter he ends up on the forehand.
The last exercise was a square with quarter pirouettes. I rode it more like a rectangle because I wanted to give him a chance to stretch and lengthen his canter after a short end with two quarter pirouettes almost one after another. Again repetition gave me a chance to watch him, to lighten my aids and let him do the job. It felt better to the left, the turns were tight, he could sit better and still jump without losing the canter. To the right he lost it couple times, always in the same turn. This brings the question, may it is footing there or he got distracted by something on the side of the arena?
I have finished my work with nice long and low trot. However, at the beginning of the trot he was too fired up from collected work. I had to ride a few transitions trot-walk until he calmed down and started stretching without trying to go faster.
Happy riding...
 
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