I was riding Tesoro two days ago and Elisia came to the barn. We chatted a little while I was riding then I asked her to remind me about the spiraling exercise we worked on in my last dressage lesson. When I talked about Tesoro's major over reactions, she said, 'Maybe you only need a 1'. I looked a little puzzled then she reminded me that there are different levels of asking (1,2,3,4), each more intense than the previous. Duh, that is one of the basics of natural horsemanship, but I guess I am not very good about putting it to use in the saddle.
So she had me just use my seat. To spiral in all I did was slow Tesoro down, open my left hip and he started to move in nicely. To spiral out, I opened my right hip and rotated my left hip in. As you read this it might sound like a ton of movement, but in reality it was like putting the lightest touch, perhaps how you would hold a rose that was losing its petals to smell.
The results were AMAZING. For the first time I really felt like I could get what I wanted with Tesoro. I was using my seat to slow him down and concentrating absolutely on not moving any other part of my body. We rode again last night, this time trying to apply the same to the Paso Corto. It will take more work to get results at the corto, but I just feel I have found a better way to ride him.
Thanks Elisia, your a great coach (and friend)!