I'm trying to make the best use of my time here in Florida with much more frequent lessons than I get to take at home. The recurring theme in both the dressage and jumping lessons is encouraging Piccolo to carry herself in as consistent a rhythm and balance as possible. Not too shocking but surprisingly challenging. She has always wanted to please, frequently to the point where she worries. She is athletic enough with the jumping that she can move her feet quickly and get up and over the jump effortlessly. However, when I insist that she not dive (however subtly she does it) at the jump, she has much better form, lands in better balance, and it's easier on both of us. In the dressage, her trot is getting lighter with more energy and self-carriage. She is slower but with more impulsion. She has a good canter but we've concentrated on more straightness so, that too, has improved in our short time here. For a long time, I side stepped "pushing her buttons" because she went through a period where she became unraveled if things got too hard. Physically, I think we worked out the major cause and this past year I've been pushing more and seeing what she can handle. The lessons here are giving me the confidence to say that it's ok if she worries a little (thankfully she isn't panicking like she used to) because the more consistently I do it, she relaxes and realizes it's ok. Yes, this all sounds like stuff I should know and I think with a training horse it would be different but I've had Piccolo a long time and we've been through many training levels together. I've always been fond of my redheaded mare but my time here has just proved what I always thought....she's a good worker who wants to please and has the talent. Bottom line is that I just need to stay consistent with what I expect from her.
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