Friday, May 27, 2011

Technical Riding

I had another good lesson on Gator last night. Riding good dressage is such a challenge. I really tend to become complacent as a plunk along and I am really being pushed to ride every step. When you watch lovely horses go around it really looks like the rider is just sitting there and the horse is going around great! I am learning that they aren't going to work any harder than you are going to ride them. Last night, we started with leg yields at the walk, making sure that Gator was moving off my leg and being active with his inside hind. We moved on to doing the same thing at the trot. Coordinating all of my aids at the same time tends to be one of my trickiest spots, especially keeping an active inside leg and my outside leg back. I'm just not flexible and coordinated enough! lol Once I got him straighter through his neck and moving fairly well off of my leg we moved to working on a 20 meter circle. Riding a circle doesn't sound difficult but surprisingly it is! You have to stay really focused to ride an even round 20 meter circle. We worked on that along with keeping a leg yielding feeling to achieve that inside hind leg crossing up and over as we worked. At the canter we worked on keeping him fairly straight, riding 10 meter circles through out the arena. The visual was given of a puppeteer feeling tension and relaxing it, working him back and forth for a more through horse. Nothing is ever just static pull. Our circles improved the further along we got and in the end we had a few that were pretty nice. I need to continue to push myself to ask more from my horse and demand that it happen right away rather than being content when they offer less than they are able.

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