Lengthenings and Counter Canter

Well, we did end up schooling over fences this weekend, but several factors, including an odd spike of anxiety on my part, derailed the session and I’m doing my best to forget it and just remember the awesome-sauce practice we had a few days earlier instead.

Otherwise we had a dressage lesson yesterday, and I asked Eliza to get on for the first half and feel out the lengthenings and counter canter. Overall it was nice to hear that he felt better in the connection, a little straighter, and overall a bit stronger behind. Thumbs up from me for justifying spending all that dough on hock injections.

It was super helpful to see what a professional could eek out of Foster’s lengthenings, which I’ve described before as lackluster. Horses of the past loved lengthenings and were more than willing to make the transition with enough gusto to spring me from the saddle. Foster, not so much. So seeing what she could do gave me a visual that I could reference when I’m working on it on my own. He’s still green in them and wants to tuck a bit, or break to canter, but there is some lift starting to happen through his shoulder and definite push from behind. After getting on, I was able to replicate some of the good steps, and I know it’ll get better over time.

Excuse my video skills, I was trying to listen while watching/videoing:

Things I took away from the lesson include another technique for not sticking my elbows out like a chicken, and that I really need to practice holding my dressage whip in my left hand. Foster does not appreciate it bumping all over his body.

The plan is to give us both today off, and tomorrow review a few dressage movements in a light ride so as to conserve energy for the clinic!

11 thoughts on “Lengthenings and Counter Canter

  1. He looks great! With horse’s that it doesn’t come so easy to it just takes time. The more stronger he gets (and he obviously is) the better they will be!
    Have so much fun at the clinic! You guys will be awesome!

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