|So, this pretty girl was on deck!|
|Crappy conformation photo, but the best I have. She's a powerhouse of a little thing!|
So, what did I learn? Calves on. Hips loose.
Tori is a forward ride. Upward transitions happen on the seat, but she doesn't yet have much of a half halt understanding. Downward transitions are also a little funky still, with her often tossing her head up and away from any rein pressure and scooting onto her forehand. To help me actually sit through the transitions and show Tori how to calmly step under and stop, Nancy had me focus on keeping my calves on the mare. With my lower leg securely on and back, my hips could relax and unlock. Then, I was able to follow Tori’s movement and stay with her instead of bracing against her movement. Her transitions immediately improved.
Of course, staying loose in the hips is something I always fight. So, this little hint is something I’ll be thinking a lot about!
Nancy also had me lower my hands with every transition. Tori is solid in the contact, and Nancy wanted her to realize the contact isn't going to pressure her in a transition. When I am off balance, I’ll raise my hands. So this challenged me to give her a better ride.
I’m really enjoying this little mare, and am happy to have her to ride while my Guinness is out of commission!