Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The "Canter Dance"

Unfortunately, due to the new SNOW, this evening's riding session has been canceled. The good thing is that I now have the opportunity to catch up on my blog. ;-)

I haven't spent much time with the horses in the last few days due to the yucky weather - plus I'm taking the opportunity to "clear my clutter" (muck out my house) before I go to fetch my son back from his grandmother in FL.

Somehow, Guinness gave himself a big U-shaped gouge on the forehead about two days ago. He is wearing a (damp) fly mask around and it seems to be healing..

Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys the little "Canter Dance" that Parelli Play Group member Julie G. created to help herself develop muscle memory around asking for a canter departure. Julie is an advanced rider and regularly does dressage and eventing, however she is new to the application of PNH principles to riding and is committed to developing a solid foundation and not taking shortcuts. (The photo is of Julie and two of her horses.)

Using the blue L2 pack (DVD 7, Chap. 1: Leads and Simple Lead Changes) Julie came up with a walking sort of line dance set to a 8 beat tempo. It goes something like this: walk, walk, rein up (2 beats), trombone outside rein (2 beats), indirect rein/outside heel on/scootch hips toward inside. Repeat until your body knows without your mind micro-managing. This is also really helpful to practice while seated on a balance ball.

As Linda says, "set your horse up for the lead" by putting horse's ribs to inside "and then release into the canter." It is almost like asking for a little Sideways Game toward the inside of the circle. (She also recommends practicing this at the walk and trot.) There is even a simulation that she demonstrates with another student!

Somehow I've completely zoned-out on most of the Freestyle riding information in the Blue L2 pack. I think that I either skipped it or that it didn't sink in, since it wasn't relevant as long as I was focusing on Smokey (who won't even walk willingly forward after 7 years of L1/2 PNH - I've definitely been over my head with that fellow)!

Over the last week or so I've been reading another PNHer's entire blog (somehow I'd subscribed to it but wasn't getting the updates). She has been dealing with many of the same issues that I have been, but is one step ahead! (Cantering, respect, Pilates, etc.) Here is a link to some of her revelations about cantering: Lisa's Blog Thanks for your insights, Lisa!

Happy Cantering. :-)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm just catching up on blog posts after being out of the loop for so long. Thanks for the kind words. Cantering has been such a struggle for me. I cannot wait to get back to riding so I can get both Cricket and me back on track. I have a great deal of empathy for you in your journey.

~ Lisa