Something I have really been trying to figure out lately (ok ONE of the many things) is big punchy changes that are also straight during tempi lines! I can either get one or the other. As in big punchy changes that Fritz bounces left or right in, or straight changes that are somewhat flat and not as spectacular as I know he can do. Since we have learned everything together, I get in his way sometimes, and vice versa on rare occasion (when he thinks he’s smarter than me and tries to take over)! LOL.
Last night at the end of my lesson, we worked on the tempi changes and for whatever reason I finally UNDERSTOOD what my trainer was telling me. This has been something we’ve been trying to figure out together (well, she knew what to do, but getting me to do it was another story) for a while now. I don’t know if her words were just a little different yesterday or if me being a little aggressive in my riding played into it (Fritz was in a spunky mood), but I got a line of straight*er* big punchy changes than usual! And I finally FELT and understood what to do. I apparently get tipped more forward (just ever so slightly) in each change, progressively getting worse. This throws Fritz onto the forehand, which flattens the changes, and also forces him to swing his hind end around to make things happen clean. I also have a tendency to overcollect him. And you know what, what a good boy for trying to correct my rider errors and still accomplish clean changes! I really stayed back (upright and tall) and swung my hips into each change which is funny enough MUCH easier to do when not tipped forwards – not only were they more on my aids but they were pretty dang bouncy compared to usual and I made sure to really ride them forward. They were much straighter than usual too.
I’m really excited to try again today if the rain holds off and see if I can duplicate it by myself!