Today we did a lesson in the outdoor in the double. I ride Hans mostly in the snaffle, usual it’s a ratio of three days in the snaffle and two in the double per week.
After my usual warm-up, we started with some work in the trot, using transitions within the trot to add expression. From there we worked on the trot half-passes a bit. To the left is generally quite good, to right is harder for me. This is true of pretty much every horse I ride, and it is really more about me than the horse–I’ve had two surgeries on my left hip, so its range of motion is not as good. It’s also quite a bit weaker. I have to make the horse more sensitive to my left leg. So, we did some alternating between leg yielding off my left leg, and turning that in to half pass right.
In the canter, we started by doing an exercise to help Hans relax in his body a bit more. JJ had me go down the quarterline, ride haunches-in, leg yield back to the track in haunches-in, and then change to shoulder-fore. We did this a few times each direction. Then, we took this better canter to the tempis, which Hans is not as confident in, especially in the show ring. The right canter is key–if he is backing off a bit, I will run into trouble. JJ had me focus on keeping his canter where it needed to be, especially after the first couple of changes, which is where he is most likely to get a bit “shy” in the canter. Finding the right balance of aids is important too–confident, but not overwhelming; sensitive, without riding him like he is brittle.