As a dressage rider I will always have something to work on and learn. My riding skills are constantly evolving and at times I find myself both physically and mentally exhausted. It’s those ah-ha moments that keep me going and allow me to overlook those less than stellar rides…like today’s. To sum it all up, I am soooo totally hooked!

Welcome to my lesson

“Who do you want to ride today Calvin or Buttons? It’s up to you.”

Dilemma. You see I brought my video camera today. Call me vain, but I’d actually like to look as though I know what I’m doing. Last week I had an awesome ride on Calvin. Would today be the same? I haven’t ridden him in months. On the other hand I ride Buttons a lot which could be a bad thing. She spooks at the center door all the time and our circles stink.

“Uh, Buttons.” Just go for it. Why not expose the good and the bad? I leave to groom and tack her.

As usual we walk around the ring before mounting. As we approach the door at E she shies away. Oh no! It’s him! Outta here. Movement out of the corner of my eye reveals that her fire breathing dragon is the stall cleaner.

Sigh. “It’s only Marcos. See?” I turn her towards the doorway.

Marcos turns towards us. “Oh, it’s her.”

“Yep, I think she just said that about you.”

And that’s how the first part of my lesson went. Go down long side, half-halt, half-halt, inside leg to outside rein, half-half, prepare for spook, more outside rein, flex her head slightly to the inside, keep inside leg on, push her over, over, yeah! Rinse and repeat. Circles at E. A lot of circles at E. A lot of spooks at E. We’re getting better. Change directions. Now she’s hanging on the outside rein…I’m hanging on the outside rein…can’t feel my left arm anymore…can’t…half-halt….

Feel free to watch the videos. There are small glimmers of potential. Comments are welcome.

Summary I need to work on everything!
1. Elastic arms that follow the mouth.
2. Steady outside rein to control the neck and poll.
3. Plan ahead for spooks, etc. to prevent them. (A student fell off her the other day. Ouch!)
4. Ride the ocean wave in canter.
5. Everything else…

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