I have officially made it through the first week and half in Wellington!
This past week was the "trying to organize and figure everything out" week. Despite being here on a scholarship I am also working while I am down here to offset some of my expenses which aren't covered by the scholarship. I started one job last week and am still seeing about a few others scheduling wise. Needless to say, that my planner is likely to be my friend in the coming weeks to prevent me from overscheduling myself or having to run all over (apparently Welly world is a bit spread out!).
The boys have started to settle in. Lumie developed a cough his first few days here and had me and everyone back home worrying about Shipping Fever, but alas between soaked alfalfa pellets 4x day, respiratory supplement and buying a nebulizer(yeah, he had to make sure I spent a chunk of money as soon as we got here) he seems to have overcome it. Monty is still not sure about the peacocks and still adjusting to everything being new; its his very first time really going and doing so its understandable.
I have also had my first few sessions with Oded Shimoni. He is a wealth of knowledge and I am already starting to feel like more of an FEI combination. Lumie is really rising to the challenges and I find his help to be outstanding in helping me find the feeling that we are looking for. I largely ride on my own most of the time(95% of my time) so having this kind of quality instruction, this often is really pivotal in pushing me to ride better.
We are slowly building a great team down here and I am hopeful for lots of fun educational opportunities coming up. More soon!
P.S. I got the chance last week to make it to watch some of the Robert Dover Horsemastership Week-- Here are my notes from some of the rides:
Katie Durhammer Friday:
- in changes stay slow, if quick slow and make sure rider back stays loose
- walk to relax when teaching tempi; especially when starting ones
- if the changes or canter becomes crooked when teaching tempis just walk
- pushing fom hindlegs in the passage not feeling of bringing back
- shoulder in outside hind pushing through for necessary push feeling in passage
- lightness in seat for piaffe and passage not a driving seat
- make sure you can ride the walk with legs closed
Ali Brock Friday
-systematic and ritualized in the changes( and warmup)
- little micro transtions and little micro positioning( Shoulder fore, renver, haunches in,etc)
- do i have him where i want him? ride your horses so that if and when a trainer gets on it they say "wow this is good"
- feel that if you relax hand forward that he would open his throat latch without using under neck
- careful about riding this horse straight
- focused on hindlegs matching front legs
- 10m circles add in to check feeling
- turn helps roll the pelvis under in the passage to encourage " putting tail down" and hocks closer to the girth
- always checking lateral positioning, but dont leave them there too long
- Make sure on a GP horse you dont neglect trot canter, canter trot-- if not good repeat until it is
- shorten rein and move hand forward; roll wrist instead of bringing elbows back
- if comes back and pulls down then take out immediately in shoulder fore
- pushing forehand and neck up always
- think sometimes just tap the brakes
- if strong on left rein then take the idea of counterflex briefly
- always PLAN
- when riding a series always make it simple to start(3 changes on diagonal with no count and then so on to focus on the Balance)
- always prioritize balance
- in changes not always about the count its about the balance
- sit on the back of the saddle
- if building on the line think whoa and rebalance
- dont ride always on the curb because it can cause too much pulling down
- better a little too high then too down in the neck because down can cause crookedness
- quiet aid in the ones-- telling front legs to change-- moving as little as possible
- bailing twine stirrup to the girth
- pick a vertebrae on the horses back and stay there
- if this is a carousel horse think youre his pole
- think ride "up to me" Up to me
- also the change and walk again to prevent the building
- feel the walk in the changes
- passage comes from swing and impulsion ( think medium trot)
- if you can get seat in right spot the rest will come
- feel that youre pulling rib cage out of belt
- 2 types of half halt: Collecting half halt( rebalances- close outside rein without pulling, engage core, not driving with lower leg, "Whoa" a stride, then relax and close lower leg to move forward again), Connecting half halt (let horse go a few strides, close lower legs, add leg up to hand until horse comes up in the back and hand, then relax not give)