Of course, I have the horse that I have and I'm not trying to make it anywhere in particular. I didn't exactly run out and buy a purpose-bred dressage horse with big, lofty, desirable gaits. Courage is perhaps a better-than-average mover. Cute, even. Not world-beating by any stretch. Frankly, that's fine with me. I can ride him. His movement doesn't scare me and on the occasions I've sat his trot (mostly to ride through spooky stuff at this point), it doesn't bounce me out of the saddle.
His trot is fine. He doesn't have a bunch of suspension and he likes to be tight in his back. Whatever. It's rideable. On account of me-not-being-Charlotte, I like rideable.
And that's just what it's been. I'm an average rider with some issues. Courage is a better-than-average (no, not biased) horse with some issues.
And then we started learning our trot lengthenings.
At first they were rough, fuzzy at best, and had a lot of breaks into the canter. Which was fine. We were learning together.
Then they got a little clearer and a little better. For some mysterious reason, they actually got better to the right before they did to the left, but whatevs. They still weren't amazing. We were starting to get the idea.
I don't like to drill anything with Courage, so the day after a decent ride we either hack or throw him on the lunge for some no-pressure leg stretching.
I do believe that's what we call a "moment of suspension".
And there is such thrust! And topline is happening. And um did anyone else notice it's all in a halter where he can literally do whatever he wants?
That made me all excited and I wanted to see it under saddle, but alas, this has been the week of technical difficulties.
I did snag a picture of Lindsey riding Courage, but my phone was not feeling the epic-dust thing, so you're welcome for the rather-intense blur.
|closer. still nope.|
I guess what is a surprise to me is how much adding in baby lengthenings that are far from perfect has improved every bit of our trot work. Courage is finally understanding a really solid contact. He's moving his back. He's accepting a little pressure.
I'm not saying that he's Valegro all of a sudden, because obviously he's not. What is happening is that I'm learning I don't have to be Charlotte to teach a trot to a normal horse.