Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Turn on the forehand

Drifter learned turn on the forehand today.  It was much easier for her to do a turn on the haunches.  I attribute this to her Quarter Horse bloodlines- that girl can spin.  However, asking her to keep her shoulders stationary and move her haunches was a total enigma for her.  I ended up dismounting and doing a little ground work.  I used a dressage whip to apply an aid where my leg would be and backed it up with a tap on the hock.  When she was reliably moving off the whip aid on the ground I remounted and worked on it from "up top".  She still had trouble with the concept and it required several tries in both directions.  I stood her facing the arena wall and asked for a 90 degree turn on the forehand.  When she moved her haunches at all I stopped the aid.  We repeated both left and right sides.  She had more trouble moving off my left leg and often stepped into the leg aid the first three or four attempts.  Once it clicked it really seemed to made sense to her.

I also lunged her before riding and she had a nice canter on the lunge.  I think I will have her canter on the lunge again a few more times before reintroducing it under saddle.  She has been so much more relaxed since I have backed off on cantering under saddle.  Today was a really good schooling ride!

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