|Here's the actual horse with his former owner on board. He looks bigger than this in person. Or maybe I'm just short.|
After warming up, I worked on shoulder-in. She demonstrated first, describing the aids and angle as she went, and then I got to try it. If you don't know already, let me tell you: it's surprisingly easy to ask for too much and get a four-track instead of three. But when you do it right- boy does it feel cool.
We spent most of the lesson working in canter though. I still have issues sometimes with the cue, part of the key is to get him organized and bent into shoulder fore with my inside leg at the girth and then add a "moment of stillness" before I give the aid with my outside leg. If I do it right he strikes off immediately, if I do it wrong I get extended trot. Anyway, after I got him into canter, we started preliminary work on collected vs. extended canter on the right lead. It was SO COOL! I could feel his hindquarters come down and his withers rise, his fore legs tucking in a little tighter. It probably wasn't exactly a collected canter but it felt brilliant anyway.
Then the trainer suggested extending the canter. Well, moving from collected to extended is harder than it looks, you can't just release the aids like I tried to do, that made him fall down to trot, you have to ease him into extension. I don't quite have the hang of it yet but I can't wait to try it again.
Unfortunately the left lead didn't go so well, left is his "bad" side and I spent too much effort just trying to keep him from cutting into the ring to really play with the gait. We'll get there. Still, it was a good ride. I'm happy I made the decision to take lessons at this barn for the winter, I'm learning exactly what I was hoping to learn.
On a slightly different note- I've noticed that my first post about riding the friesian has jumped to the top in my stats. Apparently there's a lot of people out there googling "friesian" and finding that post. I'm not sure how I feel about that, it's good that people are finding my blog, but I wish they hadn't landed on a post about failing and frustration.
So, for those of you who find my blog hoping for info about friesians here's a little I've learned:
- they are gorgeous
- they are very comfortable to ride
- they have sweet, gentle personalities
- they are terribly inbred and suffer from many health issues because of it