I was so excited to have my first lesson for 2017 at the KTW Dressage Clinic run by Warringah Dressage Club at Pindari Stables. Thank you for the amazing lesson Kate, Arnie and I always feel like stars after our lessons!
I feel like Arnie and I have been working pretty well leading up to our lesson, I’m starting to branch out and feel more comfortable doing different exercises I wouldn’t normally do. However, there are a few rides that I’m sure everyone can relate. When you are riding alone day in day out you tend to fall into this trap where you do the same thing day in and day out. Not meaning too. For me it’s the shoulder in and leg yielding, I was slowly losing control over his shoulders even the more and more I tried to control them I kept losing them to the outside to the right! So, it was great I had a lesson when I did, as I was becoming slowly frustrated with myself…
It was super-hot on Saturday at Pindari, my heartrate on my Fitbit went into overdrive! I’m so fortunate I have a horse that is so willing to please and is more than happy to get the job done regardless on the weather.
Once Arnie was all warmed up we started to work him through a few exercises, we touched on our spirals making the circle smaller make him wait and keeping him balanced. I use to hate doing spirals it was my weak spot, but now I love them! I’ve realised the benefits they have in our work. I do them all the time at home now. It’s actually one exercise I’ve been working on at home in the canter. It’s a great exercise for me to focus on the line I’m riding as I have that awful habit on looking down!
It was great to go over our upwards transitions, walk-trot. This is something we will always have to work on totally our weak spot, also our transitions from canter-trot. Arnie just LOVES to throw in that hind leg into pace. We had a few nice upwards transitions from walk to trot, it does help when I just let him do the transition and I don’t have such a firm aid, it’s almost like he has to figure out which leg he will lead with, it’s that half stride in between the gaits where he thinks about what he needs to do… Slowly getting there, I’m happy we are improving.
I didn’t have a problem with his shoulders during our lesson, I’m so happy. At the same time, why have I been having so much trouble? BALANCE that’s why. I have thrown him of balance, I wasn’t supporting him. I was trying to correct his shoulder but I was making the problem worse, I was literally doing the opposite! Duh- don’t I feel silly!
At home, I was having the troubles to the right with our trot work, I was also experiencing our right canter not being as strong as our left. Same problem. Why? My body is turning left as I’m on the right rein, I’m cantering right but my body is saying let’s canter left Arnie. No wonder why he got a little confused. Arnie is probably glad I had that lesson on Saturday – lol!
We worked on our canter getting that active inside hind, wow he felt amazing during our lesson! Playing around with our tempo in the canter, slowly getting there. He is getting more confident in our canter work.
After a well-deserved walk break we touched on our leg yielding.
I’m so happy how we are progressing, however there are times he just wants to run across. I must say I wasn’t helping him with my shoulders being so unbalanced! The heat did get to me a little bit… when I had to drop my right shoulder, and raise my left to even and make myself square… I did the opposite. At that point in time with the sun, sweat and determination to ride I completely lost bearing of my left and rights… how embarrassing! It’s ok I managed to fix it. After this I felt more square, which is something we went over at the intelligent riding retreat with Brett Parbery. Focus on yourself being square from the moment when you get on. For some reason my alignment must be out of whack, I honestly feel square but I’m not! Something that I personally need to work on to improve my riding.
As always, we finished in some nice stretchy trot, keeping the tempo changing it making him wait. Just because it’s time to wind down doesn’t mean we can forget about our tempo!
Such an amazing lesson. I can’t wait for Warringah Dressage comp that we have entered for later this month!Fingers crossed 🙂
More photos from our lesson… cause I’m so proud on how we went!
Happy Riding 🙂