Today was another ride in the double, and we started off with working on Hansi’s “show trot”. He has a lot of get up and go, but this can sometimes tip into getting flat and running as he doesn’t always honestly push to the bit. So we worked on bringing him back into a few steps of passage to help him lift through his chest and withers, and then taking that out to a longer step, keeping him slightly positioned right and asking him to step his right hind leg up to the bit. He was really super about letting me coach him through this.
We then moved on to working on the 10 meter half circle serpentines in the counter-canter that are in the Developing PSG. These come right at the beginning of the canter work, which is a little challenging for me because when Hans is a little tense, he tends to suck back in the canter. In order to ride these well, I have to make sure I use the brief bit of canter I get prior to starting this movement to get him honestly bending right and in front of my leg. JJ also had me think about riding my first half circle a bit more “puffy” (I was making it harder than it needed to be by making the half circle too small) and then riding forward on the centerline prior to turning, and forward to each change.
We finished with schooling the first part of the trot work along with the centerline. In this test, you turn left at C and ride shoulder-in to E, turn left across the arena, turn right at B, and ride shoulder-in right to F. JJ had me focus on making sure I showed enough angle in my shoulder-in, and being able to power up within that. In my turn across the arena I need to think early about getting my right bend since that shoulder-in is a bit more difficult. She also had me pay attention to straightening at F, and then using a bit of a leg-yielding feeling in the corner to get his right hind leg, then really showing off his trot on the short side.
Tomorrow Hans has a day off, so I’ll just be hand grazing him and grooming him. We head to TIEC on Thursday, and I’ll do lessons there Thursday and Friday. Saturday we show in the regular Prix St. Georges, Sunday we do the Developing Prix St. Georges.