Monday, 30 January 2017
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Today some of the horses were off to a training show and Sarah's mare was having a day off, which also meant a "day off" for me (if there is ever such a thing). I decided to visit Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande, home of the highly regarded classical dressage trainer, Luis Valenca.
It started on an interesting note with a taxi driver with NO idea of where he was going and who charged me 72 Euro (!) for a 32km trip. I had been warned about this...but given the driver spoke no English and I could not negotiate on a price beforehand, I knew it would be expensive!
I had a riding lesson with Sofia, on a gelding called Madonna (!) who patiently took me through many of the movements. I then had an inhand lesson where Sofia took me through the basics of their system in ground work for young horses. I don't have photos to show, but this short clip demonstrates some of the lungeing and lateral work on the ground I was able to try.
On hearing of my horror taxi ride, she refused payment for my lessons - another example of the kindness and generosity I've experienced of the Portuguese. She also dropped me at the train station to return to Cascais (a total train fare of 5.50 Euro!) It however wasn't a simple journey. The patient man at the train station gave me the following directions:
So...to Friday. Had yet another amazing lesson on Vingador with Frederico. We warmed up long and low, then getting to cross his hindlegs outside of the circle, but keeping his front half straight on the circle. I finally felt like I was getting it - for some reason lateral work on the circle always bamboozles me! 😂
Once he felt soft and connected, we moved onto leg yield, which was much better than the previous day. It was then into shoulder in down the centre line into half pass. This was also much better, with me remembering to keep the bend around my inside leg and look where I am going.
We then moved onto canter work and changes. To prepare for changes across the diagonal, I had to achieve a slight counter flexion in the corner to set him up for the change. With a few practice attempts, we achieved 3 times changes across the diagonal. Once I sat quieter & just *thought* about the change - they happened!
Saturday, 21 January 2017