Your Victory Is Right Around The Corner

Warm up canter

I am wondering if Nicki Minaj was speaking of arena corners. In case she wasn't, she should have. Corners are our best friends. We met just recently but let me tell you: I have fallen in love with corners. How come?!

On Saturday we had the opportunity to ride a test of our choice in front of a judge (one that will be judging this week's show as well). For me it sounded like: bring a test, ride it, I will watch it and tell you what you could have done better. What it really was: an amazing training lesson with tons of valuable input - and corners. I had no clue what to expect and I had no clue that I would be riding that many corners.

Starting in walk on a half long rein we rode corners. Don't get me wrong, we have been riding corners for years. But we just started on Saturday to actually RIDE them. Make use of them. I would even say: EXPLOIT them! A well ridden corner makes any following exercise super easy. Why's that? With riding in correct bend and flexion in the corner, you make your horse use the inside hind - that inside hind that can afterwards push forward, carry more weight or whatever comes after the corner! So it might seem superboring as you are not doing fancy things like flying changes or pirouettes but simply riding a corner well that helps you with all consecutive movements. But how to ride a corner well?

What are we doing today? Riding corners was not on our wish list
So we tried to ride in the corner as deep as possible - he even said I should ride straight as if I was about to jump out of the arena. With your inside leg you lead the horse while the outside hand is giving a bit of the outside rein to create bending through the outside rein. Hafl and I were confused and it took forever to get that concept. You need to use corners not only in the corners but in every turn!

To get more familiar with this new way of riding corners (hell yeah, I guess other trainers have told me similar things before and I was simply not listening), I was riding corners today. Approximately 150,000, in walk, in trot, in canter. Over and over again. After several good corners, we tried some leg yield, shoulder in, medium trot etc. And nothing seemed to be a big deal after the corner was ridden well (well, better than we used to ride them before let's say). And I felt that Hafl was somewhat relieved that I was not any longer asking for a pushing inner hind after riding unbalanced through the corner. He kept straighter than usual, he moved freely and I swear after corner no. 149,989 we had a real good medium trot along the diagonal!

Say hello to the corners, your new best friends!!!

Doesn't it seem stupid that I have been working HARD on the movements and always wondering where the missing link was? Well, the missing link is the riding of the corners - dressage, everyday a new surprise..

In the warmup

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