Haven’t Done Much About Ruby In A While So I Figured Today’s The Day
Been Working On Those Canter Transitions
Canter transitions are one thing that we have been working on for a while with Ruby. As you watch the video you will see that “Anticipation” should be Ruby’s middle name. You can tell by the tension in her body and her sometimes inconsistent speed, that she is always anticipating what is going to be asked of her next.
Other Small Challenges
Yesterday, the footing was not very good. Ruby hates working in mud, it is like it blows her mind and makes it extra hard to get her to focus on her rider.
The weather yesterday was also unseasonably warm and it was very windy. All factors that have an effect on a sensitive mare. Not making excuses. Just stating the facts!
As you can see, this video starts with Ruby moving out nice and forward. Not quite as consistent or relaxed as what would have been ideal, but she was going willingly.
You can see that she steps right into a canter when asked. There was a little tail swish. She didn’t look super intense or irritated, but who knows! She is a mare and sometimes she as to show off her girl power.
Riding Standing Up
At this point in the canter, we have found it is easier if Christina stands up instead of sits. Ruby has a lot of power in her hind end and her canter is not always so easy to sit. When you stand up in your stirrups, you are sort of up above the turbulence. It helps her because she can focus on the horse and not worry about her seat effecting how Ruby canters at this point.
Christina has developed nice independent hands and a strong lower leg, so the standing up technique is working well for her at this point.
Second Half Of The Circle
The second half of the circle is ever so slightly downhill. If you watch the video carefully you can see that Ruby shifts her weight off her haunches and on to her forehand. This change in balance brings Christina’s upper body a little more forward and her lower leg got a little bit back behind her. In this position, she has lost her leverage and makes it hard to correct Ruby and get her light on the front end with her weight shifted back on her haunches.
Corner / Top Half Of The Circle
Christina corrected her position in the corner and Ruby responded by shifting her weight back on her haunches and getting lighter in the front end and rounder in her frame.
To me, it looked like Christina felt the difference and as she continued cantering the circle her position was stronger and Ruby stayed more balanced all the way around.
Ruby seemed to come back to trot promptly thought it was sort of a fast choppy trot. Her head was a little high as if she was anticipating another canter transition.
Christina was able to get her to relax into a nice frame and good trot tempo through the corner and about halfway across the bottom of the circle. Then Ruby started anticipating again and made for not the best walk transition ever.
Overall, this was a good exercise for Ruby and Christina together. The only way they will together get the feel for the transitions and staying balanced and consistent is to continue to practice.
Christina knows that she needs to keep on working on soft hands holding a soft steady connection. As they improve with that Ruby should stay in a more consistent frame.
I also think that as they practice the canter transitions and Christina becomes more aware of how Ruby is carrying her weight, and correcting it when she is on the forehand, it will make a huge difference in the consistency of her canter and improve it. Also, I think working on this will continue to help her improve her standing position, being able to keep her hands with a soft contact and her lower leg will tighten up at the girth.
I Can Get A Lot Out Of A Short Video!
I was teaching this lesson yesterday. It is amazing though how much more I can pull out of a short video like this. When it is happening in real-time, it is all so fast and sometimes my eye will focus on totally different things.
That is why taking video for me helps me as a trainer. Looking at the lessons over again piece by piece I pick up on a lot of different things. Things I can use to help my students in the next lesson.
It just goes to show if good horsemanship is your goal, you will never stop learning about horses!