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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The early bird beats the heat

Hi all! Do you like it HOT? Come on over; summer is sitting on us hard. Our grass is already turning brown and the hoses are in constant use. But mature grass also means the horses can be out all day without worry of founder, so that part is nice.

Kate and I were scheduled for concurrent lessons with Julie at 9:00 Sunday morning, forecast (and fulfilled) as the hottest day so far this year, and it was already plenty warm by the time we started riding. But we both had excellent rides with dance partners who tried really hard, so it was worth it. I even have photos! I took some of Kate, and Julie took some of me.
Kate & Dinah

Me & Lance
We worked on so many things that I don't want to forget – especially when I can't school in our dry sand arena. So for my own benefit, here are a few quick notes:

  • When working on the trot/halt/turn on forehand/trot exercise on the wall, stay on the second track.
  • As always, watch his right shoulder, especially when it is to the outside. A great straightening exercise is to leg yield off the wall at the canter for a couple strides, then ride shoulder-fore.
  • Continue to work on cantering squares, which I had started at home. (Julie caught one of our collected turns in the second photo.)
  • It's time to add a bit of counter-bend to counter-canter circles, effectively riding him straight on the circle instead of in true bend. (Felt awesome when we did it!)
  • Swishing my dressage whip in the air is more effective than touching Lance with it.
  • Continue working on canter/walk transitions.

Julie's mom Suzi, who is a USDF L judge, came out to the arena near the end of our lesson. Lance and I were working over four ground poles in collected trot – baby passage! Suzi commented that she has never seen a horse exhibit so much difference from their natural way of moving to an upper-level frame as Lance did; that was pretty incredible to hear. Lance can dance; it just takes a LOT of riding – as in effort, not time – to get it. But like Kate said, it is only fair that the rider put in as much effort as she expects from her horse....

After that much effort, I was looking forward to going home, turning Lance out on pasture, and taking a cool shower. But my husband had other plans; you can read about those on my farm blog.

I'm looking forward to riding out at Perrydale Trails this Sunday with friends. The temperature is supposed to moderate by then; hallelujah!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

You worked so hard you deserve a rest! X