Ali and Chantal do some groundwork with Mia, which is something they haven’t done a lot of. They do a check of ‘Go’, ‘Stop’ and ‘Back’ and check that they can keep a rhythm in the walk.
Mia’s 'Back' is good, but she puts her neck up and tucks her nose in so she doesn’t really engage her back. This happens under saddle too. When Mia’s neck is long, she finds ‘back’ hard, they practice 'Back' with a 'head lower' command too to encourage Mia to engage her back.
They swiftly move on to leg yield. Mia finds going sideways and forward tricky, but she focuses on Chantal really well.
Going left is easier for Mia, which is surprising to Chantal because ridden they find going left harder. Ali explains that that might say something about Chantal’s own asymmetry, demonstrating how useful groundwork is for examining where ridden issues might stem from.
The steps become more stilted, the harder Mia finds it. She wants to rush off past Chantal, so Chantal has to be really firm and not allow Mia to sit on her hands on a ‘three’, and also not allow Mia to push her and increase the speed.
When you’re training, you should always be trying to notice what would make it better and think about that, which helps to focus the handler / rider on what really makes a difference to the training.
Intention and thought really make a huge impact when training ridden and groundwork.
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