I am my own worst enemy. I know this because I still can not ride a 20 meter circle. I just have to hear the instructor mention 20 meter circle and I start to tense up. Not good. If my horse is my mirror it’s no wonder I can’t ride a circle!

We approach the corner, use it to re-balance and pick up our circle at A, half-halt, oops too strong, don’t hang on the inside rein, pat the horse’s neck, turn your wrist out and move it in toward the center, keep your legs under you, don’t cross the whithers with that outside rein, don’t cling with that inside leg, don’t twist your upper body, ride her straight (huh? it’s a circle), pretend your outside rein is a side rein, don’t complain, just do it!, circles do not have corners!

Aaaaaaaaargh! The school horse has outsmarted me and reduced me to a puddle of frustration on the verge of tears.

The bright side is that several days later I can laugh about it. I received a great pep talk from the sub instructor, subbing for the other sub. She thought I had gotten some great moments from the schoolie and I should consider showing at Beland in the spring. OK, our centerline was straight and we did very well on the broken lines…it’s the circles that are killing me! I have this on video and after studying it several times I realized that it’s not as bad as it seemed at the time. Not great but not horrible.

Overachiever that I am I had to read everything I could find on dressage circles. I read that the horse is our mirror. Therefore, I need to relax so that the horse will. That also means breathing! Nice deep breathes. Also, I think that I’m looking too far around my circle. I need to start breaking it down into quarters which should help me to ride straight (oxymoron I know). Finally, I need to get my Zen back and get into the zone. I’m fully capable of it. Tune out everything…including that instructor’s voice buzzing like a mosquito in my ear.

Wish me luck!