Exercise 1: Test the Lateral Suppleness
Jaralyn begins the exercise by establishing a rhythmic, connected, relaxed yet energetic trot on a large circle. She sits quietly in the saddle, maintaining a straight line from her shoulder to the back of her elbow to her hip bone and the back of her heel while allowing her upper arm to fall naturally from her shoulder so she can create a straight line from her elbow to her horse’s mouth. She has established what’s known as “position right”—the correct degree of inside bend to the right for this size circle—by dropping a little more weight down through her right hip, seat bone, thigh and lower leg, which are positioned slightly ahead of her left leg.
To ask Sanford to follow her hand and increase his bend to the inside, she uses an open leading inside rein, bending and moving her inside elbow back while moving her hand away from his neck. At the same time, she supports him with her inside leg so he doesn’t fall in on the circle, and positions her legs, hands and seat bones on either side of his body to create a corridor for his energy to flow through. To be ideal, her inside hand could be a little lower and his poll a bit higher.