Aug11collage.jpgOn Friday, I am heading to another schooling show to go through Vitall’s first Int 1 and I’m really looking forward to it.. finally full pirouettes! I find them so much easier to ride. Vitall has been going really well over the last week. I am starting to push him for that tra little bit past his comfort zone, and the nice thing is, is he gives it to me! He doesn’t get tense, he takes the pressure and works even harder. The feeling when you get that extra little bit is so exhilarating. I think it’s this feeling that keeps us addicted to the sport when the going gets tough.

Since we have been working on the Int 1 Anky has taught me a few more tricks of the trade. For example, for the canter to trot transition, she says not to use your hands because the aid is too similar to asking for collection. Many of us have trouble making the transition because of just this. Our ponies are thinking, “I’m collecting mom, I’m collecting…” and we confuse them. So, instead of confusing them, she says to relax your hand and leg so there is virtually no contact and instead use your voice. Just making sure it is quiet enough that the judges won’t hear. The trick is finding out what works best, either saying whoa, or trot or making that bird like sound that we all use. I found that saying whoa worked the best for me. Then just repeat the transitions over and over again until they get it. Repeat (repeat), my other new favorite word.

Everyday I have been training I have made a point to ride my pirouettes. Vitall is always a bit sticky going in and out of them and loosing his balance in the turn. So everyday we have been practicing working pirouettes and making him adjustable in them: smaller strides, bigger strides, turning smaller and making it bigger. Basically working on control.  Since I have been doing it everyday, when I go onto the diagonal I have way more control and it takes the slightest aids. It really makes a difference to work on them everyday or so. It also helped me to get the feeling of what I needed to do, it’s not just all him, my timing sometimes was a bit to slow/fast.

I also went on another big adventure the other day.  About 6 of us went to Efetling which is a big amusement park/fairy tale land. It was like something out of a story book something for everyone, no matter how old you are. I recommend anyone going if you ever come to Holland. It is a beautiful park with theaters, rides, golfing.  If you want to check it out the web site is Walking through the parks, you really felt like you were in princess land. They had people walking around in majestic costumes and had music playing through the entire place. Certainly a place you have to experience once in your life.