A video compilation of Sam Dyer’s lesson with Hayley Watson-Greaves in July and August 2011. Sam is riding Wurzel. The video starts with clips of Sam’s lessons with backing music. The audio for the remainder of the video is Hayley’s training.
Razz has a good trot but his canter has always been his weakest pace. His canter has improved over the last few weeks. My biggest problem remains the medium canter. Initially Razz would just not move forward into medium. As I have got him more in front of my leg he now moves forward but he throws his head up and does not push forward into medium from behind.
Today’s lesson was one of those lessons where the penny drops …. the problem is the transition from collected to medium canter. I want an immediate transition collected to medium. When I ask for this instant transition Razz throws his head up because he is not able to give this sort of instant response. Hayley teaches me to ask for a bit of medium and then push for a bit more and then a bit more so that the transition is more gradual. The net effect is that Razz stays in a good outline and also pushes from behind into the medium canter. I think the video shows a clear improvement in Razz’s transition from collected to medium and the net effect is a better medium canter.
An excellent lesson. I now need to do more work during the week to really establish the (gradual) transition to medium canter. I think that as Razz becomes happier with the medium canter in an outline he will naturally give me a bigger medium canter.
The video was recorded with an unmanned camera. The zooms are done in editing software and so at high zooms the image gets very pixelated even though the camcorder is hi-definition. This video is not representative of the quality of videos that I produce commercially.
Video of Nikki Jeal’s jumping lesson with Hannah Lancastle on Sunday 3/7/11. The lesson focussed on looking ahead to ensure that Nikki turns onto the right line for the next fence and landing on the correct lead for the next fence.
In the lessons with Hayley Watson-Greaves and when schooling by myself we have continued to work on improving Razz’s canter.
Razz’s direct transitions upwards have improved but in the last lesson with Hayley I was struggling with the downwards transition on the right rein. I am not sure who is tensing first but either me or Razz is getting tense about the downwards transition and this makes the other one tense. To be fair to Razz … its probably me
Razz enjoys going sideways more than going forwards so in the canter lateral work he tends to go sideways easily but loses forward impulsion in the canter. Hayley was consistently telling me to soften my hands both while going large and in lateral movements. It was really quite noticeable that Razz went forward more easily (even in lateral movements) when I softened my hands. If I can work on softer hands that restrict him less to solve the problem with a loss of impulsion in the lateral work.
Hayley asked us to do leg yield which developed into leg yield to the centre line changing to half pass which was then further developed into half pass all the way across the school. Personally, I found it much more difficult to do leg yield changing to half pass because you are seem to be constantly changing flexion from one side to the other. When schooling by myself I have just been coming off the corner and going straight into either leg yield or half pass either to the centre line or all the way across the arena. For me, this is simpler with less changes of flexion and I will build up to leg yield changing to half pass in the next few weeks.
When doing leg yield or half pass to the left I was using my right leg strongly to get him to move to the left. In order to “put my weight behind” my right leg I was leaning to the right. Leaning to the right makes it much more difficult for Razz to move to the left because my leaning to the right places my body weight to the right which if anything would encourage Razz to move to the right. Hayley was understandably shouting at me to stop leaning to the right. I need to work on this to stop this bad habit.
Hayley told me to hit my own leg with the whip. After clarifying that this wasn’t a punishment for me she explained that it helps to get the horse forward off the leg because the sound of the whip on your boot gets the horse more responsive to the leg since the whip aid is coming from the leg and not from behind the leg. I have been using this trick while schooling by myself and it does work
I must also learn to start rewarding Razz when he does something well. I am very good at using my voice when he does something badly but I neither pat him or praise him with my voice if he does something well. He has to know when he has done a movement well by rewarding him somehow.