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

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Our right shoulders

Lance and I had an early-morning lesson with Julie today. She is leaving this week for another stint as a groom and trainer's assistant in Florida, so I wanted good dose of critique and instruction before she left. I also needed some video footage to go with my application to be a demo rider at the NW Horse Fair & Expo on March 22. I don't really expect to be selected, but you never know until you try. It would be a free opportunity for feedback, and a good excuse to "clean up and go to town."

Anyway, back to our lesson. Julie had lots of good things to say about Lance's gaits, frame, and execution of various exercises; we've done our homework! But there is always room for improvement, and today what needed improvement were both Lance's and my right shoulder.

When tracking right, I need to keep my right shoulder back. It wants to stay forward, which handicaps my horse; when I DO put it back, my outside leg comes forward! I couldn't help but laugh at how difficult it was for me; I really have to practice The Twist or rather, keeping all my body parts independent. When I get it, Lance is free to move ever so much better.

As for Lance's right shoulder, he has always had a tendency to pop it out when tracking to the left. I need to use my outside aids and "ride his shoulders;" in other words, keep him properly aligned with shoulders in front of haunches. Again, when I do, his gaits and movements improve dramatically.

Here are some snippets of works in progress, and then a run through First Level Test 3 which went okay.

1 comment:

Mary said...

oh, what a nice test you rode! I paid more attention toLance rather than your shoulder :-). He has filled out and is carrying himself very nicely. The test was consistent and fluid, with only very subtle evasions showing. Does Lance tip his head at times? Which direction is most comfortable for the left?