Monday, November 18, 2013

Flying Changes - Tempi Changes - Straightness

In 2013, I showed my mare Bacara 4th level and am looking forward to showing Prix St. Georges in 2014. I really like to play with the movements before I actually need them for a test. Tempi changes are no exception. As I work alone much of the time, I have to figure out how to make quality improvements each week. In 4th level tempi changes were required in sets of three. In Prix St. Georges tempi changes are required in sets of five. You would not think this is a big deal but as it turns out, it sure can be. Bacara likes to carry her haunches a little to the right and if that happens, then I am unable to get a nice line of tempi chages and the whole line looks crooked. In fourth level, when only 3 changes were needed, it seemed like I had a little more time to get things straight and to get the series of changes started. Now looking towards Prix St. Georges, I either had a nice line or not and I was a bit frustrated on my lack of consistancy. I kept trying to slightly adjust the shoulders for straightness and sometimes it went well and other times it was just not enough. Finally, I decided that the solution to my issue was a full body solution. Now as I approach a flying change line from the left lead, I ask for a little bit of haunches in to obtain the straightness before I begin. And as you may guess, if I am approaching a flying change series from the right I do a little shoulder fore in the canter to align my horse. This reminds me once again to focus on the concept at hand and solve the straightness through the whole horse. This may sound like a simple solution, I wish I would have thought of it earlier! Live and learn! I thought I would share this in case anyone else has this issue.