Friday, April 17, 2009

Bratitude Adjustment

The courbette is an upper level dressage movement -- when asked for. When Phantom does it, he's being a brat.

On Monday, I excused Phantom's bratty attitude because of the unsettled weather. Hail hitting a metal roof unnerves me, too. However, come Wednesday with no storms blowing through, I got fed up with his mini-courbette when I asked for a sidepass or back up. He only pops up a little in the front, but I don't like the evasion. I wasn't blocking his movement and asked for the sidepass with an open rein. So...out came the side reins and an additional 15-20 minutes of longeing. This had a definite effect on his bratitude and I ended up with some decent lateral work AND backing up.

Today I started with the side reins. I always let Phantom longe without the side reins attached in order to release any pent up piss and vinegar. I then worked him for 15-20 minutes with the side reins. Not nearly as resistant to them as he was on Wednesday. Worked him in the looky-loo corners and did some trot/canter transitions and spiral in and out at the trot.

He was still bratty about the looky loos in the corners when I was in the saddle, but Zorro was also being a bit naughty. The High Pressure Hops? Sheesh!

Anyway, I worked through posting trot, canters each direction, then sitting trot to do some lateral moves. Then, with an empty arena (yay!) I went through the Training Level One test a couple of times. Polished it ain't. Good thing our Sunday Play Day at CEC is intended to be a low key gathering for riding, socializing and eating.

Phantom is noticably stiffer/more resistant to the right. I tend to get squidgy in the midsection when riding, but when I "touch" my shoulder blades it helps me firm up my torso and Phantom moves better. He also goes better wihen I have firm but relaxed contact with my full leg. Go figure -- it's the rider's position. :-)

We have a gorgeous weather forecast for the weekend. Supposed to push 80 degrees by Sunday, so I'm looking forward to a day at the barn with fellow horse folks enjoying our critters and each other on a pleasant spring day.

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