Monday, February 22, 2016

Struggle Bus

 Um yeah, explanation below.

Klein and I board the struggle bus when it comes to lengthenings.  They have always been the thorn in our side.  Once Klein gets something, she gets it.  I feel like she half gets lengthenings right now.  I just have to prove to her a lllllittle bit more that she CAN and we'll be good.  We're so close!!  We usually get 6's on them in dressage tests with comments like "minimal change shown."  Yeah, yeah, we're trying.  Klein has gotten a 30 on her USEA Training A test before, so imagine if that test had higher than 6's for the two lengthenings that are in it?  We have been working on Prelim A lately too, and guess what's in that? 

We worked HARD on our lengthenings this past Saturday.  I got some pretty funny pics from that ride but we made some progress!  I know you're not supposed to lean back for lengthenings but I really needed to drive my seat as much as I possibly could to encourage Klein.  Once we get a full grip on them that won't be necessary, but to teach her...fine.

Go Klein mare!  You CAN!

My face in both of these pics.  I know...  But seriously, that is how hard I have my core engaged.  I was trying so hard to make some more sense for Klein.  We also do shoulder-ins on the short side then lengthen across the diagonal.  That has helped her too.  It kind of loads the spring so you have something to unload across the diagonal.  I also leg yield her to the outside and squeeze twice on the outside rein and that is her cue.  She gets that.  I have done some Lainey exercises for lengthenings too.  I can't wait for our dressage lesson with her in April.  Can.  Not.  Wait.

Klein gave me her 110% Saturday.  We will continue to regularly work on these because that is what it will take. 

We had a jumping lesson this past Sunday.  We worked on our accuracy coming out of corners to one strides. There was a one stride with a vertical to a square oxer then a one stride with a vertical to a swedish oxer.  We schooled both each direction.  We had a great lesson and our accuracy sharpened and my commitment to distance did too.  I would say 85% of the time I see my distance and I commit, but 15% of the time my attention will drift for a split second and I lose my distance resulting in me committing 90% to a spot when Klein needs a yes or no answer.  I definitely felt it click coming around one of those odd corners in this weekend's lesson where I committed to my line, saw my distance about four strides out and stuck to it.  I always count down from three out.  When my attention drifts for a second like I mentioned above, my counting is thrown off a little and I make things harder for us.  I feel like a small light bulb came on last Sunday.

Also last week, last Thursday, Klein and I went back to the track near us to gallop.  Klein had a blast.  We did two miles of trotting and then did a two half mile slow gallops followed by some acceleration sprints.  She felt great!

Klein mare getting aerodynamic on our gallop last week.

Today was beautiful and I hurried home as fast as I could without being pulled over to get a dressage ride in.


 I made it in perfect time to get a full hour in and had a beautiful sunset in the background.  She felt amazing tonight.  She was so supple and flow-y.  We worked a lot in sitting trot and worked on sharpness to the aids by keeping her guessing.  I had cavaletti set on a half circle on the middle height at the end of the ring too so we would add that in periodically.  There were a lot of transitions, leg yields, 10m circles, and shoulder-ins.  One of my favorites is leg yielding to canter departs, or shoulder-in to canter departs.  Tonight was awesome.  

The girls were still eating.  Wes won the eating contest and was ready to go back out.


  1. Holy. Crap. Klein's neck is HUGE! And you can see the muscles so much! Wow. Lengthenings are hard for me too. I feel you, Kleinmare.

    I also feel like she got a lot whiter since I was reading your blog around this time last year -- is that just me?

  2. Katai learned how to lengthen when I was making her trot next to another horse that was cantering and passing us. It was like a light bulb went on and she realized that she could really push forward in the trot.