Thursday, March 17, 2016

KYB Dressage Presentation

I was able to sit in on 3 of the KYB Dressage presentations at Equifest Kansas! Yvonne Barteau has a quiet, confident teaching style.  Life goals: lesson with Yvonne Barteau!!

For her Friday presentation, she recruited me to help! I headed into the arena with 2 strings of twine for a short talk about contact. I held the one end while Yvonne held the other and talked about different kinds of contact. She had me play a distracted horse, and demonstrated how she reestablishes a connection. I should have been wearing my go pro to take note on later!!
I am the kind of girl who shows up to these things with notebook and pen, so as soon as my time holding the twine was done, I scrambled to the bleachers to take notes!

First and foremost:
Establish a connection you can call "home base".
Yvonne explained that the connection will vary from horse to horse, but before anything can be addressed, that connection must be established and agreed upon.  Obviously, I'm paraphrasing...

connection and the half-halt
Then, we moved on to Flexing.  This is stabling the bend through the entire body (not just the neck).  Hind legs track the fronts on the circle and corners.

Try a radial turn:
Flex the horse left, then move both hands a little to the right - the shoulders will move right.
I felt like this exercise, without saying as much, was the cornerstone to capturing the shoulders and keeping them in line.  It seems like it gets pretty easy for the shoulders to pop out and you're left with a straight spine and a bent neck.  They riders played with this concept a bit.

Add leg to turn a radial turn into a leg yield!
How easy it sounds!  I can feel it in my body, and I'm not even on my horse!!

Change flexion to turn your leg yield into a half pass.
Really?  Is it really that straightforward?  I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but you know I'm going to!!

Do it in trot and canter, too!

Pirouette and move the shoulders out.
She went into great depth with the demonstration horse about the mechanics of the pirouette.  She explained how they will step into the pirouette with great balance and power, then will start to fall in with the shoulders in the second half.
So, do 2 steps into pirouette, then head straight out of it.  By moving the shoulders out, the horse is less inclined to fall in.
I'll admit I was completely engrossed in the tiny details unfolding before me to take any more detailed notes...  I'm sure pirouette is going to be a little while for us, anyway.

transitions within the trot
My notes are brief, but I broke it down to the essence: Give to the bit - go to the bit
The half-halt only lasts one second!  DO NOT hold the half-halt!

Initially, ask for the half-halt with the body.
If it doesn't go through, ask again with the body and reins.
Ask again if necessary.
DO NOT hold the half-halt!
Give to the bit - go to the bit

flying changes
Dressage through the levels:
I forgot my paper and pen, so I took notes on my phone!!

'Sit in the bend!'she said.
OK.  Wrote that down.  Pondered it.  Watched...

Discussing haunches in:
Always sit in the bend, however awkward!

Ride the trot to the halt.  Don't stop riding the gait just because you have another gait coming!

"You cannot change the subject by changing the gait." Said to the horse who would rather extend the trot than collect the canter.
Change the gait, fine - but the lesson of collection is the same.  That's the subject of conversation.

Shoulder in - oh, you want to canter?  OK, but continue to do it in shoulder in!
You get the idea.
I've been saying this to myself every ride since!!

On lead changes:
Collect, then change the lead.
Ask for the change, then ask again - ask if the lead is, in fact, correct.
I have some ideas for implementation on this idea, but I haven't had the chance to incorporate them into our work yet.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Equifest Kansas

So, this happened!
Fancy Pony and I proudly represented the Arabian Breed at Equifest Kansas!

Seriously.  Can a weekend go any better?

(Don't be too hard on my mom...  She can't help it if she feels like the pony's feet are RIGHT NEXT to her head!) 


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