Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 17: Mounted Exercise: Turn both ends

Today’s advice comes at a good time for me.

1.    Begin at K in a Medium Walk.
2.    At E, halt quietly.
3.    Ride a 180 degree Turn on Haunches.
4.    Ride straight ahead in Medium Walk, bending nicely through the corner.
5.    At A, halt.
6.    Ride a 180 degree Turn on Forehand.
7.    Repeat pattern in both directions.

Yes, RC’s a pro at turning both on the forehand and on the haunches, so it’s not for him (ok, it’s good practice, but more useful on the other ponies). Delight had the turn on the forehand down pat, and we’re starting the walk pirouette now, so this is a timely reminder to get after it. Tilly needs help yielding from the leg on both sides and both turning the forehand and haunches – so this exercise is a little too advanced for her, at the moment. 

Over the weekend, I did work on turns on the forehand with Tilly. She thinks that the answer to all leg aids is “forward”, and while that’s not a bad answer, it’s not entirely correct either. I introduced the concept of yielding her haunches out while I was on the ground and touched her side with my whip to urge her to step over sideways, first to the right, then to the left. After a few repetitions, I got on and we carried on with our normal warmup at the trot. During our walk breaks, I asked her to halt, then take one step over sideways with her haunches before walking off again. After two or three tries, she was moving sideways readily enough, that I called it a win and let her walk on a loose rein. 

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