Yesterday's ride was an exercise that served two purposes: 1) to prove that doing ground work before riding IS important, and 2) that I shouldn't be lazy about not doing ground work. I set up the video camera at the end of the arena, so the video quality isn't good - there's no following zooming-in and zooming-out, and at parts of the video I go out of view. Still, it is good to have on hand to show me what I need to work on. Which is not being lazy and skipping my ground work exercises.
I tried to do some of the ground work exercises under saddle and was moderately successful. For some reason the opening-rein-leading-the-inside-foot-in-a-turn is more difficult to the right. Had I not been so determined to NOT do ground work and prepared Mac ahead of time, it may have gone better. Well, something to remember for next time.
I also tried to do some backing exercises under saddle. Again, had I done my ground work beforehand, it might have gone more smoothly. Here's a video of us backing and then turning to the inside to change direction and picking up the trot; repeat.
I found Mac to be more braced than when I do my . . . guess what!? . . . ground work ahead of time. I tried to work through some of this with starting some leg yield work. I had actually done a modified leg yield zig-zag a couple days ago and it went really well. Due to the size of my arena, though, I had only room for a zig and half of a zag. Yesterday I cut the leg yielding short because I didn't want to go out of frame. Anyway, this video shows our attempt at that.
In our trot and canter work, I tried to work on keeping my hands steady and quiet, and I think I did a good job of that. After watching how Buck warms up on such a loose rein, I wanted to try that as well, but I turned out to be somewhere in between loose rein and contact, with my reins too long and Mac in sort of an in-between posture.
Here we are cantering left.
And here we are cantering right.
I was really hard on myself last night after watching the whole video. So of course I spliced it up into smaller videos that I didn't hate so much and when I look back on them today they don't look as bad as I thought. I was just disappointed in myself because I've been feeling like we are so *right there* together and in synch. And it comes from doing ground work. And I didn't do it yesterday, so I was working with a braced feeling and not the lightness that I have been feeling.
Well, lesson learned!!
Today I DID do ground work before riding and had a very lovely ride, thankyouverymuch. I just don't have any video to prove it! ;-)