Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dressage Lesson!

Last night I got to have a lesson again! The weather was cooperative two weeks in a row! Amazing!

It has been SO WARM, here in the south lately. Like nearly mid 70's, LOVE. IT. We had a beautiful weekend and I got to ride Harold Saturday and the girls got to ride their pony Sunday. I'm soaking it all up! I know it will turn to the 30's and 40's again soon.

As you can see, the girls had a great time! And they were SO brave this time! Last ride they didn't even really want to move. I got Shelby to walk but only for a few strides. This time they both rocked it! They led her around first a bit and then Chloe rode and she did so good! No crying and was getting her to woah by herself and also turning her a bit. She even was nudging her with her heels to get her to move again. Which Snowy didn't seem to have a whole lot of experience with as she jumped the first time Chloe tried it (although she did kind of kick her the first time, lol, because she misunderstood what I said). I wish horses and ponys came with a carfax of sorts, haha. I'd love to know what actually went on in her life.

On Saturday I rode my main man. He was a LAZY SLUG. I was wishing for a crop to whap his butt with fervently. When he decides he's tired and doesn't want to go faster I can barely get him to speed up with pony club kicks and smacks with my hand on his butt. And it severely wears me out!! 

SO, before my lesson Monday I made sure to dig out my spurs I have been meaning to find for the last couple months. And then will be making an appearance next ride!

Anyway, I put him in his new dressage saddle again, and our NEW white saddle pad that arrived! He looked beautiful of course! 

I love vertical flexion shots, ;)
I did a bit of groundwork before hand (mainly lunging for respect) since it had been quite a while. Then I tacked him up all but his bridle and started the video. It took me a good 10 minutes to find a place I thought at the time, would work to see us most of the time. Yeah...not so much. Anyway, then I went in and fitted him with my bitless bridle (Dr. Cook's) I feel like he is still concerned and chewy with the bit when I try to take up more contact, so thought just for kicks I would see how he did in the bitless. WELL, he was a lazy slug. Lol, so after getting tired of lazy, very dull reactions to my aids I jumped off and swapped back to his bit. Which was instant sensitivity again, yeah. I may try a different bit on him. Any suggestions?? I need to get a new one for his dressage bridle that should be shipping in a few days anyway.

Is an eggbutt my only option there?? Or a loose ring? Which I don't really like...I'm even thinking about a french link of some sort. Let me know in the comments! Don't be shy!

Fixing stirrups, thought it was a cute picture of Biscuit and him, lol

Our bending attempt. Love those posts for that!
Ignore the dog, lol
Sorry for the icky quality, they are all video stills. It was a rare ride without kiddos in tow! So we worked on more contact with my hands, also lots of bending. And going straight in the direction that I want instead of weaving all over and trying to constantly get back to his friends. This all happens at a snail walk as well, lol.

One time the mini and Chatterbox took off to the back of the pasture to see the other horses across the fence and he got all excited and acted like he wanted to follow suit which made me a tad nervous! But all I had to do was pull back and put him on a circle and he shut it down. Good boy!

I had put a post that fell over in an area we could walk or trot over it and we walked over it a few times which was fun. I will definitely hold off on the jump training until we can get all this other dealt with! Steady, good speed at all gaits, good acceptance of the bit, good bending. Sigh, seems like such a long list. I wish we had a nice arena to work in, as always. But I just have to make do with what I have! 

Lesson report! I rode Goldie this week. I decked her out in my dressage stuff and had my new spurs I found and also a dressage whip I found in the closet. I didn't need the whip but definitely strapped on the spurs. Which turned out not to work as well as the lesson I rode her with spurs last time. She was like YES ma'am, the previous time, although still very heavy. This time I never did get her all the way on the bit, and any time I tried to use my spurs I got the next gait instead. But it was still a decent lesson. We did some bending exercises and then ran through our perspective dressage test we each had been working on.

Her head looks halfway decent here but we were coming down
to a walk and I was pulling pretty hard! Her downward transitions
are pretty sticky

The sort of 'artificial' give she did all ride is shown here.
 And yes, I had my sleeves rolled up! It was WARM!

Here's the vid of our ride, along with my instructor L's comments, lol. She kept telling me the whole lesson that day to put my shoulders back and I didn't understand until I saw the video. I thought she meant to square them and pull them back. Not lean my entire body back. I was sitting forward the whole ride like a hunt seat rider! Dummy! I guess it's because she takes so much hand to ride I just get pulled forward. But if she had said to SIT BACK I think I would have done better. 

ALSO, she told my my saddle is a tad too big for me, ugh! I was afraid of that. In a deep seat like that I think I need a 17. The 17.5 was really for my knees, which are not a factor in a dressage saddle. Boo. I kept sitting on the cantle too much as you can see in a few pics and on the video. I'm not sure if it's going to be bad enough to have to sell it or not yet...

Well until later!! Hopefully the weather will be nice to me again Monday! Looking like rain again, though, blahhh. Supposed to rain from here till then, yippee.

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