Isabel and I have had a few rides now to work on the concepts from our last bio-mechanics lesson. I feel surprisingly good about recreating the magic on my own (that's always the trick lol - it's a cake walk when the trainer is talking me through it, then everything falls to shambles once I'm on my own...).
Plus I recently read a post by Kathryn Little at Incidents of Guidance outlining how a typical training ride might be structured. In short - she wrote that you can break the ride into segments where one segment focuses on a new concept (or problem of the day), then move on to conditioning work, then back to the concept/PotD, then break, etc.
This approach made sense to me, so I gave it a whirl during our last schooling session. We started with that long low stretchy trot wherein Isabel shifts from lateral imbalance to focusing on front to back balance. Then a quick walk break before some unstructured, easy-going canter (which included popping over a small X for funsies), then back to our trot+balance work. She was GREAT!! I think she really understands what we're doing - so my aids can be a little less clunky lol.
Meanwhile, the post-Thanksgiving camp was wrapping up around us with some games. The kids were getting ready to play musical stalls - wherein groups of poles are arranged around the arena to form three walls of a stall. Everyone goes around and around at trot or canter until the music stops, then you must get into a stall (only through the open wall - no going over poles!) at the appropriate gait or else be the odd one out.
formidable opponents: Midnight, Woody, Cheyenne & Caballo
not pictured: Bordick & Milagro
I figured, what the hell - Isabel can play some games right? And it was actually really fun! The ring was pretty crowded (esp bc one end was unusable due to wetness), so cantering around with campers who may or may not fully grasp the concept of steering was a touch dicey at times. And Isabel wanted to RACE some of them lol.
To my surprise, Isabel was surprisingly ok with getting all juiced up to race into a stall - then halting without accidentally stepping over a pole (and thus vacating the stall). But even so, we were maybe the 3rd team eliminated. Oops. Those darn kids - so competitive and ballsy!! lol
Isabel was a tad sassy tho (she doesn't like to lose) - so we only played the one round and just hung out in the middle relaxing while the next group took their turn. It felt like a nice change of pace from the very mentally and physically challenging balance work. Hope Izzy enjoyed it too!!