Friday, September 11, 2015

The Physical Technical Ride

On Monday I tortured poor Red with another dressage lesson. My mom came along (so there's video that I'll upload if I get a chance but for today you get screen shots). In the truck on the way to the lesson, I observed to her that dressage lessons make me really nervous but that jumping lessons don't. She was like "You're weird."

Lex thinks everyone is weird

Red and I are still struggling with getting the whole package together. He's great in that he's relaxed and he never feels like he's about to melt down or be naughty, so we really can school everything on a 20m circle forever. Which is boring, but it does have to get done.

I look bored. He, surprisingly, doesn't.

M pointed out that he's a lot harder than Mo because Red is a physical ride and Mo is just a technical ride, and that he's harder than the second level horse we had in over the summer because that horse was just a physical ride and Red is a technical ride. So being both of those things at this point in his life is making it harder for me, the non-dressage rider, to get him to stay connected for more than a stride. I really do have to half-halt every other stride right now or he just gets away from me completely.

This pretty much looks like my life

The other thing that kind of sucks right now is that there aren't any exercises that can help us with this except the 20m circle. Spiral the circle and I'll lose his shoulders. Change directions and he'll fall apart. He just has to stay on the circle and stay round, and until we can do that there's not a lot else to do, except counterbend when he tries to sneak his outside shoulder away from me. Also, I'm not allowed to really sit back at this point, because it shoots him forward and flat, so excuse the "tipping" in the pics. It was kind of killing me, which I guess is how we know I'm getting DQed.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom from M:

"He gets that shoulder stuck over on the outside and then he needs to counterbend."

But I don't need to slouch, gross


"Ride half-halt to half-halt so it doesn't get away from you."

"You should be half-halting nearly every stride on this horse."

"As he masters this, he'll be able to maintain it by himself longer, but right now, he's only ever been in a false frame, he's only ever been in a gadget."

"Keep the tempo slow enough that you can put your leg on." (Not advice she'd give me on Mo, ha!)

"You're the side reins, he has to give to you."

"I know this is boring, tedious work, but it's the work that has to get done."

"It's a lot of work, right? You're like, 'This can't be right, I'm doing too much.' But not yet! You'll get maybe one stride of 'Good boy!' and then it's back to it."

A lot of what she said was "outside rein, outside rein, outside rein." I am eagerly awaiting being done with this stage of life with him, because I think when we unlock it, things will progress quickly.


  1. He's going to be such a fun puzzle to solve! Looking great!

  2. Quite the ride. She's not wrong though. Yay good trainers!

  3. I don't envy you trying to package up something that giant!