Monday, April 13, 2009

Russell Higgins Lesson Part 2

Next was Garbo's turn. After saddling up Russell asked me to pay with him on the ground while I tightened the girth in stages. Boy - what a difference between today and the last time I did this in front of Russell. I felt co-ordinated and Garbo was responsive and attentitive, - he commented on how nice it is to have a horse that was so in tune to me and asking questions so often. I took that as a compliment (he doesn't really give compliments).

Then I got on and we did some point to point and Russell said he was surprised at the nice trot Garbo gave, he said he was expecting a slug! He liked his trot alot. We did a small canter to show Russell how Garbo gets a bit excited and he said he didn't really notice anything. Just goes to show how well I know Garbo and I know what comes next!!

Russell set up a small arena with the tyre as one point and three jump stands as a kind of oval shape - about 40m long I guess. What I had to do was walk to the top marker and trot round the outside of the markers to the tyre, then walk back round the other markers back to the top - then trot - but use more than I normally do for phases - ie go one step further - which meant slapping myself with the rope. This was to get Garbo anticipating the trot at the marker and for it eventually to be just my life up, and for this to also translate into canter. He didn't want me having to use the rope to ask for canter.

By the last lap - oh after about 4 half halfs he said trot the whole way but ask for a faster trot at the marker, we did about 15 more laps. Yes, I was knackered as was Garbo but the last lap he got the pattern and went round really nicely.

Then he got me to do it all again. He offered canter a couple of times and he said to just let it happen.

Next he set up two jump stands a little way out from the rail, about 40m apart from each other.
This time I had to walk from one marker to the other along the rail and use indirect rein to turn round the marker and transfer to direct rein to get back on the rail. So we would then trot along the rail, down to walk during the indirect rein, and then up to trot on the direct rein. This gave him quite alot of impulsion. After doing that for a while I had to also lean back and put my hand on his hip, with my indirect rein hand after the indirect rein turn, while guiding him back to the rail with the direct rein. That took a bit of co-ordination!

We did that for a while - about 30 minutes I guess, Garbo was completely knackered when we stopped.

Russell suggested I not try Canter Passenger at this stage, as with an LBI it would take my leadership away -and that is what I have to work on. Leadership in the saddle. For example me doing all of the steering rather than me some and Garbo some. He said this will stop him being so distracted.

I wasn't sure that I was not being to tough with my indirect rein turn so I shall watch Pat again on the patterns DVD.

He suggested I do follow the rail at trot for 20 minutes. LOL. That is something I don't do for that long. And then to turn into the centre at canter and bend him gently to a stop. That way he will get to learn that canter ends in stop and rest.

So that's a good thing for me to try in a couple of days.

Russell also said that if you lead the nose the body should follow, if it doesn't you can bump the rein to reinforce.

I washed him down as he was covered in sweat, and he then went and rolled in the dirt and covered himself in it!!


cilla said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful productive time. Were you exhausted at the end? Three hours! Phew.
I am trying to memorise every word you have written to give me ideas for riding Lizzie in the school . . . . one day lol. Not just the school, your post is full of excellent tips. Thank you for posting!
Russell has suggested something wonderful...Maraschino in an Audition. Go for it!

Connima said...

Hi Vicki

Sounds like you had a great lesson with Russell. Yeah 3 hours i bet your asleep by now.

I agree with Cilla i too get ideas from your posts. Thanks for that.

Take care see you soon.


Vicki said...

Hi Hana
Luckily only half the time was brain power, the other half brain and body! Not asleep yet...but I was pleased when I had got feed and filled my feed bins and done the feeds tonight (and picked the poos)...
How was your weekend?

Glad you guys get something from it - as when I write it I am thinking 'this must sound confusing'