It was dark when we arrived for my lesson with Hannah and the school was deserted as I led Katrina down to the mounting block. “Hellooo!” a voice rang from the darkness, “Hannah can’t make it tonight so you’ve drawn the short straw and got me” Becky Moody laughed as she emerged from the gloom. What a short straw!
To begin with she watched us warming up, then she asked me what I’d like to work on. I explained that at our last competition, my downfall had been the quality of the transitions and the impulsion in the walk. Becky told me that to help the quality of the transitions I would have to do millions of them. She also noticed I was nagging with my leg to keep Katrina forward, and made me give her only short, sharp nudges instead taking my leg away in between. She also felt that I tend to accept whatever the horse offers and can become a passenger at times, so she had me be more firm.
To help me stretch my legs down and to get me to put my knee back a bit Becky took my stirrups away. We did loads of canter/trot and trot/canter transitions, my legs felt numb and the muscles in my stomach were mush, but the difference was amazing, Katrina began really listening to my aids. Due to my legs being longer without the stirrups I was able to use them effectively. Katrina was carrying herself a lot better and going forward. In trot, Becky had me shorten the strides but keep the energy, so Katrina seemed to ping off the floor with every stride as Becky shouted "Dance, dance! Make her sparkle Alanna!" it felt amazing!
To improve the walk, Becky walked next to us and told me to keep pace with her, before striding off as quickly as she could. Oh my goodness she was fast! Once we got the hang of it, Katrina found it easy to keep up with her, and Becky said she’d shown a huge improvement.
It was absolutely brilliant! Every time I leave that arena I feel like I've worked hard, and I love that feeling. I definitely know what to work on when schooling at home now, but I have to remember to work that hard each time, and not let Katrina dawdle when letting her on a long rein.
Thanks to my lovely supporters who help me so much, Stonehouse Solutions, The Emporium at Wentworth, Tottie Clothing and Style Reins Magazine. Alanna xoxox