Time for a lie down
Balance, Rhythm and LIE down.
Head Neck, Shoulder, Ribs and Hinds must work together if Cooper and I are going to advance his training in the lead up to EQUITANA.
Bringing it together is about ensuring Cooper has a solid understanding of how to control each of his 4 parts individually.
I think of these 4 parts as Lego blocks the more I train each one to move individually the easier it is to build Cooper into the shapes he will use to carry his rider.
A horse that looses balance is a horse that falls in, falls out, pigroots to stay up right or stops and wont go….
This week we started from behind- with the hinds. From day one Cooper has been learning to disengage to engage. The more reach Cooper has in his hind end the easier it will be for him to bring his hind legs forward and under as we advance his movements.
The ribs- Cooper now has a solid understanding of how to move laterally on the ground and undersaddle. This week was about begining to lift the rib up to make space for his hind legs to come through and under his girth to support the weight of his rider.
The shoulder - The main focus this week, has been teaching Cooper to keep his shoulder block upright. With his wither pointing to the roof. Check out @ Brumby diaries Lara Beth on FB for the full video on balance.
No going round like a motorbike here….
To be honest Cooper doesn't have a naturally forward flowing elevated trot rhythm, more of a putt putt golf cart like to come to a stop rhythm.
This is great I wouldn't have him any other way. However if we are going to have a safe reliable canter we need to establish a smooth comfortable trot.
Every time Coopers balance improves the smallest amount, his rhythm improves equally if not more.
This week Cooper and I found a nice steady trot rhythm that was driven by his engine (the hind legs). It was the first time I felt as though all 4 lego blocks were working together while I was in the saddle.
Super dooper Cooper
If you’re not into dressage you’re probably thinking why would I care about lego blocks and building my horse into a frame or shape…. Cooper kinda felt the same.
However by the end of this week I was asking all 4 parts of Coopers body to lie down. It took him about 8 mins to learn the entire trick. I was very impressed at his ability to find solutions.
he has now lay down at the end of 4 of our sessions and gets better and better every time.