I am still so thrilled about the fantastic ST clinic we had last weekend with my dear colleague Rebecca Gilbert ST Instructor. Super horses, super people, super weather (with a lot of flies though but what else can you ask for 😍🦄🐴
My biggest insight was the laboratory in the Longeing towards Grade 4. Now I truly know what it feels like to have the horses between the aids and why the triangle in Longeing is so important.
Once the wind (energy) is there, which you capture in the triangle a light dialogue through the line starts to rise
and the half halts feel light and effortless. Also, the performance becomes more athletic and effortless. The big slack I had in the line vanished while Misfit was curling around and the center
of mass (COM) stayed better in place.
Another challenge was to keep up with the rhythm especially in canter. In the pics you can see that my steps are irregular as I was figuring out how to move in order to support Misfit the best.
Beside the Longeing I tweaked my S-changes in walk and trot as Misfit started to lift his head losing balance, suppleness and shape. Isolation was the key so I practised for a few times only the S-changes and the moment he showed me the slightest better I gave RRR (release, reward, relax) to anchor that exact behaviour. Amazing how fast the horses learn once we are clear in our body language, mind and tool handling :-)
Furthermore, we addressed and talked a bit about Groundwork and Liberty. What to expect in Grade 4 and how to get there. I realized in order to step up and to be able to progress to a higher level we both, Misfit and I have to come out of the ‘comfort zone’. He is from nature a low energy horse and it is challenging to keep him motivated and ask him to put effort into the more difficult exercises. So the happy ‘Flat-liner’ time is over now and I sent it to a forever vacation. I look so much forward working out every little detail I gained in this clinic and I am very happy to welcome Rebecca next year again.
Thank you again, Rebecca for all your valuable tips and guidance 💕