Had a great (early morning, yawn!) lesson with my regular instructor on Saturday. Max was really pleased with the improvement in my leg position (something I have been working on, and Claire has been – painfully! – rotating my thigh inwards for me when mounted, err, thanks!) Hopefully those pilates sessions are also helping.
My very naughty elbows still aren’t behaving and staying where they’re meant to. Instead they creep forwards, and end up nearly straight as I shorten the reins. I am trying to imagine weight in my elbows so they are back and down, instead of floating off into space.
Position sorted, we got on to Saf, who was very laid back and trotted serenely around the arena. We came onto a circle, and talked about how when Saf falls in to the circle, particularly on the right, her barrel is also falling inwards and this makes her feel very unstable, hence the head and neck turning to the outside to counterbalance. Because of this, simply turning the head to the inside, won’t fix the ‘falling’ problem. I am also mirroring Saf, so when she is incorrectly bent left (on a right circle), I am shortening my left waist which isn’t helping matters.
There were a few times where, thanks to position alterations, lengthening my left waist and straightening my shoulders, that she lightened, inside hindleg engaged and she bent down and round. Max also noticed that Saf seems to have moved on to the ‘next evasion’, leg yielding out of the circle, when we had these soft moments. Shoulder-in was mentioned…!