Keeping the Horse’s Focus in the Arena.
Claire has been out competing and doing fairly well. She thinks she’s not straight but has been working on corrections they’d previously discussed. She says she can feel her left seat-bone more than her right seat-bone, and remembers thinking of her left knee reaching down because she was sliding right in the last session.
In trot on the right rein Claire thinks that there is more of Savannah to the right, Ali suggests Claire make herself even more narrow on the right to help correct that. As they change direction on to the left rein the stuffing feels more even.
In thinking about a heavier landing, Claire has forgotten to get to the top of the rise, when she corrects this she manages to keep Savannah’s attention nicely. On the left rein Claire lands slightly to the right. There is a slight over-correction of the bend on the right rein which has created too much inside bend.
Thinking of long slow steps helps keep Savannah’s attention. She's very focused outside the arena on the right rein. They work on slowing the trot, then asking for a bit more push, and coming back to slower trot if Claire loses Savannah’s attention. Claire explains that she isn’t happy when she doesn’t have Savannah’s attention, and she would tend to get wound up along with Savannah, ending up with a shorter and shorter rein.
They test Claire’s ability to keep the trot straight by changing from left to right rein a few times. A pattern emerges when they change on to the right rein, where Claire loses Savannah’s legs which speed up, then she loses Savannah’s attention. Changing back to the left rein is easier and calm descends—as long as Claire can control the speed of Savannah’s legs. When they go back again on to the right rein for the last time, Claire manages to keep Savannah’s legs slow and keeps her attention.
The session ends with a noticeable improvement in the quality and regularity of the trot on both reins.