For the left bend I've spent a lot of time doing plenty of circles and leg-yielding. In-fact, I spent one schooling session doing so many circles and trotting poles in walk and trot that before I had noticed we'd done 40 minutes and not hit canter so I decided to finish there on a good note rather than then go into canter and get stressed if things didn't go well. The leg-yielding has helped open him up a bit and has been really useful for going into canter. In a lesson we had a few weeks back, after our dressage test where our canter went a bit disastrous, my instructor noticed that for right canter Pea bends to the left and that means that my body is turned to the left and therefore I am in the wrong position for right canter. Trying to correct this is a lot harder than it sounds as trying to apply the right aids with my legs and turn my shoulders the right way with Pea turning me the wrong way and ask for the correct canter lead is a lot to think about doing with just a few seconds to do them! If you think about it, trying to put your outside leg back and your inside leg forward as well as turning to the inside so your right shoulder goes back is difficult enough as you normally turn to where your leg goes back and having your horse automatically turn you that way anyway really makes it difficult so I've done some work on the ground to help open my body up as well. To overcome this in the saddle, I have found that going onto a circle and then asking for canter means that I am in the correct position as he bends well round the circle and his canter is slowly getting better! He was also due his teeth so he's had them done and it seems to have helped, especially as he was a bit crazy on the lunge the next day!
July also brought our 5 year anniversary (blog post here), and I honestly cannot believe how quickly time has flown! To some people it may not seem like we have achieved much in terms of competing or level, however I believe it is the small achievements that mean the most and I honestly cannot think of a life without Pea so I am glad for the choices I have made such as buying a horse without getting it vetting just for it to go hopping lame a week later or how I only viewed Pea once because without these choices they wouldn't have bought me Pea!
Thanks for reading,
Laura & Pea x