We're cementing the freewalk (with stretch! and swing!) and the working walk (with contact! and swing!) and really trying to have a solid, defined transition between the two.
(Dressage nerd aside: I've been watching a lot of a dressage videos lately, and this is a place people just GIVE points away by not having enough of a change or a solid enough walk. Walk may not be our strongest gait now, but I can make it a LOT better. Ha! /end aside)
Anyways. We're talking Alyssa through the super-interesting walk transitions and then demonstrating how much the trot transitions improve when the walk is good.
Of course, then Courage starting demonstrating his very-thorough understanding of dressage, and Alyssa again proved her mettle as a photog by capturing one of our better moments:
|such dressage. very wow.|
Because I was trying to talk Alyssa (and myself) through the process, I kept breathing and kept talking and kept riding and was pretty well able to rule myself out as a cause of the annoying spooking problem. Doesn't matter if I'm loose and happy and talking--the wall is still sometimes randomly TERRIFYING.
I explained to Alyssa how I couldn't really push him forward at the trot until we got a handle on the stupids and little alarm bells went off in my head.
Then I got home and looked at the pictures she took. This is our best trotting picture:
|that's not tracking|
Am I right?
I mean, there are nice things about the picture--my position is less jumper-y and more upright. My hands aren't quite in my lap. Courage is accepting the contact well. The overall outline is fairly harmonious.
OH YEAH ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: the horse isn't forward. Not even sort of. Combine that with my realization that 80%+ of our spooks are in the trot and then toss in my statement about not riding forward...
WE HAVE A WINNER.
Courage isn't spooking as much in the walk because his ass is WORKING. He's forward and balanced and NOT BEING THROTTLED TO DEATH.
Well that sounds suspiciously like a rider problem.
I mean, he's a fit OTTB in a dark indoor who feels GOOD. He's going to have some stupids. Buuuuut I bet you right now that if I put my big girl panties on, kick him in the belly, and TROT FORWARD, I'll bring our trot stupids right back down to roughly the same level we have at the walk.
Which is really not that bad.
|getting so pleasant|
Hmmmm yeah so there's that.