To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Welcome!

This is my dressage training journal, my ode to the horse at its finest, and my virtual bulletin board, where I can post reminders to myself on the purpose and practice of correct riding.

I'm just getting my horse Special Majesty (Russell) and myself back into a regular routine after a spring show (one class at Third Level), subsequent symptoms of discomfort on my horse's part, and several months of minimal schooling and some trail riding. It's been a long time since I've gotten regular instruction even though the instructor I use is one of the best; being a homeschooling mom of a young son really interferes with my hobbies - ha!

Today was our third schooling session in a week - WOOHOO! It feels good to be back in the saddle again. Like old ballroom dancing partners, we know the moves, but our bodies are a little out of shape for the task and we can easily lose the beautiful lines we are going for on the dance floor.

I'm working on keeping Russell straight (imagine riding a dolphin and always keeping that dorsal fin straight up in front of you) so that he can use both hind legs effectively to go forward. At the same time I am encouraging him to keep a soft contact from the bit through the poll and down the neck to the shoulders, so he doesn't get tight in his back. Ideally we do this equally well going both directions, but that rarely happens. In our first canter work this evening, he felt discombobulated going to the right, but after some more work at the trot, his right lead canter got much better. I did just a little sitting trot work tonight and it felt very good, but I won't overdue it before his back and belly muscles have more time to strengthen for the work. I'm looking forward to my belly muscles regaining some strength and tone, too - along with my thighs and butt. When I was riding a lot more, I used to joke that I could crack walnuts between my thighs; right now I don't know if I could squish a green tomato!

7 comments:

thecrazysheeplady said...

That's a fabulous picture in your header. Enjoy!

Joan said...

Yep, I love that picture as your banner too! Looking forward to following along... Off for a trail ride now... maybe I'll get some muscle tone back too! :)

Shula said...

Looking forward to following along too. I only have 2 more weeks until I can start riding again. Muppet has had almost 3 months off so the first ride could be an adventure.

Kim said...

I will be following along, living vicariously through your blog since I haven't ridden in almot 15 years... didn't know how much I missed it until I found your blog. It is indeed a gorgeous banner, is that you?

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Yes, that is Russell and me warming up at a show last summer. A friend of mine is an aspiring horse-show photographer, and has given me hundreds of photos he's taken, gratis! Of course, only a few are "prizes," but that is the nature of photography.

wendyu said...

I'm looking forward to following you guys! I aspire to get out of training level right now!! LOL but I'm having a blast getting myself there. I just LOVE dressage!