|A few months after getting Tillie - Not really relaxed over her|
or stepping under herself. At this point we were promoting
her moving into contact rather then sucking behind my leg
So as I have mentioned in some recent posts, I am feeling a bit stuck and frustrated (and many more negative emotions) when it comes to Tillie and I's progress. Today is a hard day. Maybe the fact I have emotion at all towards riding in general is a bigger issue...but that is a whole different ball game.
Some days are better then others, especially when I can channel that emotion to use as motivation to work harder. But lately its been hard to find the motivation. I am having a hard time seeing what is right versus wrong and even harder time feeling it.
I can honestly take a critique and suggestions in stride and give them a try to help us, but for some reason lately they seem to make me feel like it is pointing out things I missed when I shouldnt have. Critiques are the essence of lessons...so if I am having such a hard time taking them, that explains why I leave my lessons feeling hopeless and lost.
|Tillie last June just starting back after time off from cellulitis.|
Working in a mullen at this point and better with contact,
but still rushing and on wanting to get on the forehand.
I have tried taking a step back and let everything get some air and breath (partially unintentionally with her eye)...I cant tell if its working or not. Tillie certainly hasnt regressed because of that. She hasn't missed a beat.
|September 2014 after a few months off again from residual |
lamenesfrom the cellulitis. Really on the forehand here, but
more relaxed over her back and now graduated to a french link
(this was the first ride trying it)
My main struggle today is the recent videos from my dressage lesson I have asked for critique and any suggestions. I got some really helpful ones that I have since buckled down on and began working on (AKA my core strength to help with my tense shoulders). But one really got to me that pointed out my horse was hollow and not actually connected or correctly working over her back.
|From a lesson this past winter here working on square turns.|
Shes taking bigger steps, but still not lifting her back.
I know its melodramatic. It is quite ridiculous. BUT I have also been riding and working and training every. single. ride. thinking we have been at least established a consistent connected contact. I feel embarrassed to think we simply are going around looking pretty without achieving any real working dressage.
I have a few things that really get to me...my hands and false headset. I do not want to be known as a rider that has bad hands or has a horse with a false headset. So imagine my horror when I was told we are really great at looking pretty, but not really, in actuality, working correctly.
I know it takes time to work towards these things and achieve these things. But I have really poured serious blood, sweat and tears into riding my horse so she is correct. Correct means less chance for lameness and we have had our fair share of that. Ever since that whole saga I have devoted my time to researching, riding, lessons..etc to making sure I am giving her the best chance at staying sound.
|Dressage lesson with my Canadian friend end of this past winter.|
Now I know I am feeling sorry for myself and borderline whiny...but I just lost Santa Claus. I am mourning a little bit here. Its a huge let down and it feels a bit like I have been fooled. I have been walking around thinking something and really believing it when it turns out it isnt actually true. Now, I am an adult and Christmas is still fun despite there not being a Santa. The magic has just needs to be found elsewhere.
So I am on a mission to find my magic elsewhere.
|Recent lesson in early July 2015|
For a long time I had the below graphic pinned on my tack box when I first brought Tillie home. It was a reminder to work on what I had first and not look too far ahead.
I know each level can overlap slightly...so there are gray areas for what level of the pyramid we are current sitting at. Lately in my lessons we have been working more on thrust and that bigger step and sitting more....so this is why I am tearing myself to pieces when I hear we are not actually masters of the level of connection.
I can look back at the photos throughout this post and see improvement and see what stage we were in (or are in) based on the scale above. In some ways it is nice, others it makes me sad to see its taken 2 years to achieve the bottom two consistently.
So I will do my best to stop feeling sorry for myself and find the magic. Anyone out there that has similar stories and how they overcame such a rut or just any thing to offer...I would love to hear!