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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whip it good!

Ellen, ready with whip in hand

We had a great clinic with Ellen this weekend! David Hillman happened to be here too as were my parents, so it was like the old days when I was a kid with Tom Dorrance, Ellen, David my dad and me. See previous post to hear about the clinic with Dave and an update on Amigo.

I learned a new feel this weekend. Every time I think I get the "in front of you leg" feeling I learn there is more to it. This weekend was the first taste I've had of MP's FEI gaits. Ellen started off by letting us do our normal putsy putsy warm up and then proceeded to get out the lunge whip and bring out the Corvette within MP. Ellen had me collect MP's front steps a bit and then when MP would really sit to push off, Ellen would ask for more with the lunge whip. The results felt dramatic. And looked that way too. MP went from being half asleep and imitating E-Or to a bright-eyed, perked ears dressage version of Secretariat. Varrooommmmm! Needless to say it was a blast.

New and improved trot. Right shoulder blade back and down - NOT!

My position is yucky in this picture, but you can see why she gets 8's on her flying changes

MP is so forgiving. I'm still just learning how to ride her. You will see from some of the pictures, my position is a constant project. Old habits, hard pulling saddlebreds and not enough saddle time through college have created some position "ruts" that are hard to get out of. And I also want to over ride her, that it do too much with my body rather than just let her take me with her. I think in part that habit is the control freak within me. But I'm getting there and I'm working on it every day. Thank goodness MP is patient. I know some days she's thinking "is this girl ever going to learn how to ride me properly?"

What we hope to look like 100% of the time

I've entered a local show on June 29th and I will officially ride the Para Equestrian tests for the first time. Thus far I've just been riding third level to gain experience and get qualified for CDS Championships in LA. the Para tests are the ones I will have to ride as I go through the process of trying out for the team, National Champs, etc.

All the new pics are taken by Scott on his new spiffy Nikon DX40. It shoots 2.5 frames per second so he can get some really cool shots. There will be more to come on that front in the next few weeks.

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