Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giddying up and dressaging

I am beyond excited to report on my dressage lesson with C last night. My posts usually lie on the frustrated, we-aren't-getting-it side...but today's will be just over the top patting myself and Tillie on the back.

I don't brag or have a lot of confidence so I hope this post doesn't come across that way...BUT:

I sadly did not have a wing man to get and footage this time so Ill do the best I can to describe just how phenomenal it was.

Tillie says "I was a good girl!"
Tillie loaded on the trailer wonderfully both times! This is always a bit stressful when going without a wing man, but thankfully Tillie practically self loads. She is always a bit restless when we load at home and didnt settle in or eat any hay until well after arriving to C's. Even still she was looking around and wide-eyed like she never has seen this place before (it was our 4th time I believe?)

We got on, filled in C on our progress, frustrations etc and we picked up where we left off last lesson. We stared at the walk, again focusing on keeping the rhythm as we pick up contact without slowing down. 
Much calmer Tillie after the lesson...munching on hay like no big deal

Tillie was able to achieve this in less time so we moved into the trot. The first transition was a bit all over which is to be expected. We lost the contact and she inverts. C insisted she didnt mind as the main goal here in warm up is to get her going forward without rushing no matter where her head is. We took this opportunity to address my position. 
  • C said my spine curves too much, so "suck" in my tummy to flatten out my spine
  • Hands are better! The right hand still needs to stay lower and at my saddle pad until it stops going rouge
  • I am better about posting and moving with her (C said I am less protective of myself and more relaxed).
Isnt she just the cutest!?

After a few 20 meter circles and we started asking for contact. She started a bit tight on the right (last time it was left). Silly mare likes to change things up. Once we established bend both ways, we did serpentines where we discussed changing the rein and how to ride it. 

Initially Tillie would go full giraffe mode through the change on the straight-away until C explained that even when riding straight, you still need to ride the new essentially always ride the bend just a little less. Once we did this, Tillie was offering to move into the contact more and when softening would stretch - C was ecstatic over this! 

X marks the spot to simple and ridiculous

We focused a lot on staying off the rail to allow her to balance herself. C was excited at how much less I was doing and Tillie balancing herself better which allowed a more correct contact. We also addressed my own crookedness here and talked about stretching taller through my right side without getting crooked in my spine. What do you know, Tillie magically was more even feeling under me! 

We then moved to canter and the transitions in and out were really spot on. C exclaimed at one point that they were easily 8 quality transitions!!!! WOOO this is where we lose a lot of points in past dressage tests. 

Can we go home and get dinner now? 

We really then focused on throwing away the inside rein and correctly using my seat to turn her of the outside aids. Tillie responded immediately as soon as I correct my weight placement. What a good Tillie! 

All in all I felt like a million bucks. Especially when C said Tillie looked like a totally different horse from our last lesson. She said she was much softer through her back, uphill and carrying herself more correctly. She also said my position has greatly improved since the first lesson with her.


  1. yay that's awesome! i'm super jealous and wish i could have come too haha, we need a sprinkling of C's magic trainer dust! seriously tho - nice work! i'm trying to do the same thing with always riding the bend but ugh it's so hard!

  2. Woohoo that is awesome, great lesson! :D You are very lucky to have such an easy loader too.