Today Encore! and I had another break through. Fortunately, for Encore! I had the privilege of some happy coaching from Sandi. We trail ride together at La Purisima Mission. She’s out West staying with Susan. I ride Susan’s steady paint mare while Sandi rides Susan’s young Hessian gelding. Sandi is a supreme horse woman and has trained fifteen horses to Gran Prix Dressage. She has vast experience at the Olympic level and can translate that to anyone willing to listen. I am a virtual sponge in her company watching every move she makes and asking for suggestions on how to train my enthusiastic filly, Encore!
Sandi’s suggestion is the magic exercise of leg yield spiraling circles ad nausea. That’s right. After watching Sandi leg yield circles on Susan’s gelding Deacon I went home and long-lined Encore! on the circle for thirty minutes at walk trot and canter, changing direction every fifteen minutes. Then I rode leg yield spiral circles for thirty minutes, at the rising trot, changing direction after fifteen minutes. Not the least bit tired or bored Encore! relished the hour trail ride that followed.
The joyful breakthrough for us was an expanded sense of security and safety after just one session of leg yield spiral circles. Today, Encore! blazed away at the walk over wild terrain and didn’t give in to fear or frolic. I can only imagine what a solid citizen I’ll have under me after three months of spiral leg yield circles. We’ll do spiral leg yield circles, and nothing else, every day for three months. Sandi says, “She (Encore!) will be so grateful to do something other than leg yield spiral circles that she’ll do anything for me.” Attitude is everything and this attitude adjustment for Encore! is nothing short of miraculous.
This particular exercise might not be right for every, horse but for chilling a hot salsa filly like Encore! it is a God send.