Those 5 little words (4? Does 'a' count as a word?) made my entire day. Had my lesson with Gigi Nutter today, and despite my inability to keep my elbows bent, Tiki looked like a rockstar. For those of you that have watched the various videos I've posted over the last 2 years, y'all have NEVER seen him look this good:)
She taught me the REAL way to get a "frame", and gave me some very valuable insights. Timing wise, I have been VERY off. I was taught to hold the outside rein taught, then wiggle, wiggle, wiggle the inside rein to get the head down. I have been taught to spread my hands really wide and squeeze right, left, right, left, right, left, etc. I have been taught to squeeze inside rein when I'm down in my post, outside rein when I'm up. I have used all of these various techniques to get Tiki's head down, which is why 2 years later he still has no concept of really carrying himself and being "through". Because EVERY time he'd get the connection, I would drop it.
Gigi utilizes the 'flexion' rein (inside), where she wants me to use that to position his inside eye in line with the point of shoulder, then squeeze the ring fingers on the outside rein periodically at critical times. When I give, I tend to give TOO much. Even half an inch is too much. I need to SOFTEN, but NOT give him the rein because then he bobbles and loses that steadiness.
She said I have a nice seat, and I sit the canter well:) Yay, I CAN do something right! Definitely a breakthrough day, for sure. I have broken the video up into 2 segments; the "evaluation", and more of a consistent trot and contact. I will work hard and do my homework, and hopefully I can get to another of Gigi's clinics next month. I can't do a ton of them because they're not cheap, but they're absolutely a worthwhile investment! I will post a separate blog with the links to the videos because they're not finished uploading yet!!:)