This past weekend was so much fun! I went to visit Emelie, a friend I made when she used to work here. It was so nice to be in a house and have a home cooked meal. I have adopted her family as my Swedish family since mine are so far away. Oslo has also made a girlfriend out of her dog Bella so he was happy to have a friend to play with on the weekend. When we got back home he flopped into bed and did not move for the entire night.
It was back to work full swing today (Monday) and I was really pleased with Vitall the past couple of lessons. I feel as if he gets better and stronger every ride. There is a short clip on my website www.alexandraduncan.net of Jan and I working on some trot work. I will follow up with canter work in the next couple weeks.
In the video, we are working on keeping him quick in “normal trot” then taking it back and working on passage. Working on these quick and short steps helps reset the balance and helps renew his energy in the trot work by keeping it light and fresh.
I have also been working on Pirouettes. Making the pirouette small is easy for Vitall as he naturally wants to turn too quick. To correct this, I have been working on a 10m volte and focusing on keeping the rhythm in the pirouette, jump and flexion then just slightly turning the shoulder and making the Volte smaller each step but not letting it get smaller then 5m. Working on a bigger circle makes the rider really stay in control and it is a very good gymnastic exercise for the horse. In my tests, Vitall would get a bit behind me so I would push and he would turn too quick and jump together behind. Training on the small circle helps me learn a system for control. I’m also working on a box or square only doing quieter turns also really helps train for control of the shoulder. Those have been my key excersises lately.
One main thing I have noticed is that you really have to come up with a system and follow that system everyday. Obviously you have to leave some room for change because the horse doesn’t come out the same everyday but to always have in your mind a plan A and a plan B on how you want to train depending on how your horse feels that day.
I have come up with a system for Vitall and I have had to tweak it a little bit here and there but it really helps keep your ride structured and productive.
This coming weekend is Briars Final retirement ceremony in Stockholm. Then Kyra comes next week for 3 days and after that Jan is gone to Texas for the USDF Symposium.
I am on my countdown home for xmas. 4 weeks to go.