Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day 2 of Miss El's Clinic

I made the mistake of getting to the barn 45 mins early, but that's just who I am as a person. I may or may not have scarfed down unreasonably large amounts of beef dip . . . again . . . also I had two deserts, but who's counting????

The second rider for the day was a beautiful gray pony with a younger rider. I think what they said is that they typically do hunters but have started to dabble in Dressage. They brought him out in a Pelham, which they accidentally thought was Dressage legal. Miss El rolled with it at first, but the curb rein was causing too much interference, so she took it off completely.

There was also an adjustment with the rider form. One elbow back, another forward, turn the shoulders a bit . . . all things I've heard at one point or another. A pencil was used to put the hands into place. All those alignment changes allowed horse and rider to come back together, and, as a result, the horse was much more willing to move forward and come on the bit.

There was one thing Miss El said about the change. Rather than the horse simply putting its head into place―that so called "false frame"―the adjustments created a "full body frame". It's the "full body" thing that's sticking with me. Of course I know that the whole body contributes to the overall picture, but I know I do tend to focus a lot on the front end. Weight in the hands isn't enough. I personally need to be more aware of, well, everything else, especially when it comes to forward motion and rhythm.

If I were to visualize a "full body frame", I like to think of it as a line that starts at the inside hind foot, travels to the hock, around the back end, down the top line, finally stopping at the poll. It creates an image of the horse working and stretching over the entire top line and supporting itself with the inside hind, but that's just me.

1 comment:

  1. lots of interesting takeaways! that idea of the 'full body frame' is so critical for me, esp as i'm newer to dressage and am still trying to develop a feel beyond just the visual reference of "yup the head is down so we good"


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