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I would love to know some good exercises to help Oliver and I strengthen our 1st level work.

This week my trainer and I decided it was time to rip the band aid off and crack down on this. Holding Oliver more accountable for the work and carrying himself. I am also much more able to work on my own body mechanics as I ride him and not worry of loosing the work or contact. I must say it is so nice to run through what I need to fix and help my body memorize what it needs to in order to further help Ollie in our work.

Yesterday we started teaching him head to wall leg yeilds and really ask for a through step over and straightness and my body postion, lower leg and upper body as well as started walk/trot leg yields from center line and M and K.

Ollie started getting this and so did I. Yes they where baby leg yields and not pretty but what I asked for I got and had no tantrums and was able to verbally help him through his frazzled moments, somthing that we wouldnt have been able to work through this last winter.

So I have looked over the first level tests. We have 10 meter trot circles before 15 meter canter circles. Canter lengthenings and half of a diagonal of leg yields. These are the new things we will be adding into our rides. The test kind of seems scary but I know that the smaller circles when ridden correctly will be great for balancing purposes! :wink:

We are still working on developing lighter transitions, driven more from the engaged hind end.

Our stretchy trot has improved but still needs to be fine tuned, needs more clear of a rythem to maintain it and more push from behind to lift his belly for more swing.

I was hoping for some new exercises to help start us out and get us building up his strength. I use a lot of shoulder fore in our rides and feel like we have moved on from the spiraling circles but here and there do tend to go back to them.

My trainer told me to not hesitate throwing in a 10 meter trot circle to help re-balance him while doing leg yields and not just let it all go to crap before fixing it. we had to do this a couple times yesterday in our lesson.

Sorry if this a bit jumbled. My brain is kind of all over the place!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Also I want to clarify that we will not be showing at 1st level next year but merely are starting to work to better strengthen training level work so that we go in to the ring strong!
 

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Klassic for 10 meter circles, my coach noticed that I kind of "looked ahead" which unbalanced my horse and made them uggggly and I lost our rhythm. She told me to look above (but between) the horse's ears. It truly helped..

It's not amazing advice or whatever but incase you did the same I did (look ahead) then it *may* help with your 10m circles.
 
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