Training Diary: May 5

What we worked on: Lunging

That was very good: Yesterday, lunging was on the plan after Hafl had a day off on Sunday. Trot work was a bit stiff in the beginning and little suppleness in the neck. Canter work went surprisingly well – in the protocol of Saturday’s second level test it was stated that there is a lot of head movement (i.e. missing balance and ability to collect in the hind quarters) in the canter. I could not see this on the lunge line. Even spiral in and work on a small circle was no issue. Head was up and little tense but after some rounds slight relaxation was shown.

That was ok: trot in the beginning, ok but not loose enough

That was not ok: Trot halt transitions

What we look at the next time: Keep on working on canter on small circles, get the same degree of relaxation and suppleness as on bigger circles

For the next training I will: Think of what I was doing wrong when he showed head movements in canter in the last test (and in the last few weeks during training I strongly suppose). Think about my rein aids.

What I discovered: I used a new form of holding the whip: when he was on the small circle, I held the whip right above his croup and thought of drops falling from the whip onto his croup making him sit more. Surprisingly, he slowed down and really started to sit more. Need to further check on this.

Conclusion: Apparently, Hafl is still having issues with suppleness and ability to collect but it is way better than I was assuming over the last few weeks. So, the real problem is me – holding too much in the front and causing head movements and tight back.

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