This posting came along at a timely moment. I actually had a LESSON scheduled November 1st so this works for this topic posting quite nicely. The last time I rode a horse was yesterday and I had a dressage lesson!
Dressage Lesson with Emily Donaldson
First one in WEEKS, WHEW. First off it was great to catch up with Emily! We had a pretty good lesson in fact. We did a lot of trot and walk work due to me not having a lesson for awhile and due to the fact that Remus got rammy with his head right away. So it was back to basics. BUT it helped.
First off the trot we had some issues with him wanting to put his head up and evade. The method to fix this was for me to stop trying to make him go on the bit but instead move him forward and just hold steady contact. Viola it worked.
He started going around like a real horse instead of an upside down giraffe. We did a lot of circles, with me pushing his hind end out with my inside leg and bending him to the inside. He was actually moving over, and moving forward and just really being a good boy (This is very difficult for him so for us to get some good trot work out is a freaking miracle really). I was also told many times to CARRY MY HANDS (sounds like the same thing or close that Sally tells me, HA I am a mess) like I am carrying a tray. It sounds weird but what I was doing was if Remus started fighting me at all my go to move is to lower my hands, spread my hands wider and fight back.
Emily wanted my hands up and light with contact and not to fight at all but let him carry himself and move out from behind. We got a bit of good trot going around and then I felt him relax his back even more and I was like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah that is what it is supposed to feel like!! It was great.
We took a quick break then and let Remus walk around and we chatted a bit. Remus may got to Emily for a quick boot camp (10 days to 2 weeks) so he can get schooled in canter more, I told her the issues I have been having and she loves having him so maybe we will fit it in!! Fingers crossed.
Then we started up again and of course Remus was mad. He thought he was done. But he did work through it and I got most of the trot back. We then tried transitions to the walk and Remus promptly did his collapse and sliding walk. Which is like a half assed QH attempt. (No offense to QHs who can do this correctly, my guy can’t! LOL)
But Emily again helped me figure it out and we came up with a great plan. So I have to collect him up a bit more and when I ask him to walk I need to push him out again with my inside leg. And push him into the bit and he stopped falling apart and even kept his frame and it was lovely. And we did transitions into the trot to the walk over and over again and vice versa and I had a horse who looked like a REAL HORSE. So that was great. But we ran out of time to canter. Like we spent 50 minutes walking and trotting. Oops. But that is okay, I was so excited to actually have Emily saying Good, better, even better (OMG we don’t hear those often and she is so damn positive).
So we finished up and I talked to her about the fact that even if I only have 30 minutes or so to ride at home that she wants me to just walk and trot just like that. Keep him collected at the walk and trot and make him stay up in the poll and not collapse like a house of cards.
My other thing is to just move him forward, get him moving correctly at the trot and the head will come. Not to fight him cause he is bigger and he will win at a pulling game. It was a fabulous lesson and gave me loads to work on!! EVEN WITHOUT Cantering.
But then Emily left and I was in the arena and I was like shit I am cantering him to see if I can get him in it (I could NOT get him to canter the last couple times I rode!!). He cantered great both ways, not perfect and the right one took longer to get him in it but whew that was a relief that I have not broken my horse, yet) Phew!
Celebrate NaBloPoMo 2017 by writing every day in November, following the prompts given!