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

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A princely packer and good student

I didn't ride at all last week. My folks were here and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could. But I was back in the saddle the day they flew out (Monday). My friend and her daughter were coming out for one last visit and ride on Tuesday, and I wanted to make sure Lance would mind his Ps and Qs. He had been getting increasingly frisky with us during chores; the big red goober really does need a job.

I needn't have worried; Lance was good for me on Monday and even better for Hannah and me on Tuesday. Not only did Hannah ride him by herself again, this time in full tack, Hannah and I rode double on him for the first time in his life. When it was clear he wasn't going to object, we jogged around the arena for quite awhile.

Today, for the first time in I don't know how long, I got a lesson from Julie. Of course, it ended up being the hottest time of the hottest day of the week, but a breeze made it bearable. I didn't know how much horse I'd have, but Lance surprised me and did very well. Our main task was to get – and keep – Lance straight.

"Straightness" sounds basic, and it is, but as you can see, only collection is above it on the pyramid of training – and collection can only happen if your horse is straight. 

I have not been riding Lance as straight as I thought I was. With Julie's eyes on the ground to guide me, we made great progress in correcting that. And what a difference it made, especially when tracking to the left (his hollow side)!

I can't wait for fall, when rain will water the arena and we can school there. My goal is to show Lance at Second Level at our chapter's ODS League show next February; after today's lesson, that seems perfectly feasible.


A :-) said...

That's exciting about showing in the fall :-)

Michelle said...

Well, it would be next February, A – unless we feel prepared and can find something sooner!