I’ve declared war with my right side! It wants to control everything! Just like a petulant child it wants what the left hand has. Seriously. The minute I turn my attention away my right hand starts in. First it tests the waters by drifting upward, then in a blink of an eye it crosses the whithers and picks a fight with the left hand. The right hand absolutely refuses to share control of the horse. Chaos ensues as the right leg gets involved. It’s trying to control the left haunches by moving back and clinging. The horse either jack knifes or performs haunches in as it tries to answer the question I unknowingly asked.

In order to get them to play nice I have to give them my undivided attention. That means I really, really have to think about it. My head hurts just thinking about thinking about it.

Body parts, listen up! We all have separate jobs to do but you have to cooperate and work together.

Elbows, you need to stay glued to my sides with a nice bend. What’s the phrase I’ve heard? Oh, yeah. Close the back of your arms.

Right and left hands, come over here and say hello. I want you to touch your knuckles together and separate. Good job! Now do that periodically to reassure each other that you’re both there and doing your job.

Right hand, in order to turn the horse you need to rely on the elbow. Open the rein from the elbow in order to turn. Very good!

Right leg, mind your own business and relax. You’re making everyone tense. Oh, and could you move up a bit? You’re too far back and it’s your fault that I’m collapsing on the left side. Yep, right there under my hips. Thank you.

Bum, could you please remember to stay tucked? Always. Junk in the trunk is not allowed in dressage. They don’t want to actually see it.

Now let’s practice riding straight but off the rail.
Straight? Ha! Piece of cake after all the circles I’ve ridden.

Riding…riding…riding…
Corner coming up…
Opening the rein from the elbow…
Straighten…
Touch knuckles together, separate…
Relax that leg…
Good, very good…
Next corner…
Right hand drifting up…NO!…
Right leg clamped…Ack! where’s the bend?

Riding straight is hard! Can I go back to riding 20 meter torture circles? Please.

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