Well, it does take me a LONG time to learn something! Just ask Zelador!!!
After two years of trying to get Coleman Wilde’s “It Doesn’t Matter” (a song) I was finally successful this winter. I found the 7” vinyl record, got it transferred to CD and then copied the song onto a tape. (Tapes are the only reliable source of music in the arena.) I copied it many times. Turns out the song plays for about 30 minutes.
I’ve played this tape at least twice while riding and Zelador gets better each time. Yesterday the tape, Zelador and I had impeccable rhythm in the walk and trot. I did a transition or two into the canter, followed by a few strides at that gait, then back to the trot. These canter moments were perfect.
I had half-passes at the trot that were soft, lyrical and heavenly to ride. Each step the same as the previous one.
I got to thinking about all this last night. I remembered a brief instant when Zelador tried to quicken his pace, but I remained true to the music and brought him back to the same, steady, rhythm. He let me know that he’d figured out this new game where he was to stay the same all the time.
He was “on the bit” with the gravity of the reins maintaining the contact. I kept my hands in a small imaginary box at his withers and rode with tiny cues: a turn of my head, very little help from my legs/seat/shoulders/hips.
Hmmm…Wow!!!! THAT’S IT!!!!
I finally realized that I’d recreated under saddle that predictable, mesmerizing circle I do with Zelador at liberty.
Only took six years for me to transfer the liberty work magic to work under saddle…duh!