Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dressage lesson when your sick = hardest thing ever

Clearly I do not know how to rest up and take it easy...and I was in denial I was sick. So decided Tuesday I would try to suck it up and go to a dressage lesson. C is always great about positional corrections for me while making sure Tillie is doing her job correctly so figured it was the best place for my first ride back on in over a week. 

Tillie showing off her new boots. 

I was so proud of Tillie loading up since we took a friend's green bean horse who wanted nothing to do with loading. Tillie was the adult in this situation (thank god) and was a gem. Patiently waited and went on and off the trailer a few times in the hopes this other horse would load with her on, then maybe without her on....etc.

Yessss I so good! 

So I get on and immediately feel the same old crooked issue with my body...Where I feel like my left leg is longer then my right and constantly feel like I need to shift my weight to the right as if my saddle is crooked. This happens in all saddles...some more then others. I tried to not let it get to me too quickly and just do my best to adjust.

Our walk work was minimal and C instantly remarked how well that looked. Not too fast but not too slow...my first lessons with C the walk was rushed and then it became too slow in the next few. Tillie has the tendency to answer things in this way and sllllowwwly come to the middle eventually.

We started trotting and she felt really consistent but my arms felt like they weighed a ton. I believe now this was just from being sick/tired because riding since then each ride I have slowly regained my strength and its much improved. We warmed up with some leg yielding off the quarter line and I expressed my left bend issue of how she tricks me.

So we worked on riding more off my outside rein to close that door for when she likes to fall out and lose the outside shoulder and really use more inside leg to wake up the trot. Rides like these when I need more forward trot tend to mess with my head since I am so ingrained to slow it all down...but HEY new problems means progress right?!

We then spent some time discussing stretchy trot and worked on this with Tillie since I had left off working on that. Low and behold Tillie gave me the most wonderful willingness to stretch and all it took was taking a bit more of the inside rein and letting the outside slip out. Riding with wide hands when she loses the connection, and bring them together and forward as she stretches. Sounds so simple lol but it worked!

Psh this is no big deal any more mom!

There was a lot of commotion with it being feeding time at this point and I was so proud of Tillie for not going full giraffe mode like normal and stayed focused in work mode. 

We moved on to canter work which felt sooo strange to me. Not riding for over a week has a funny way of making it all seem foreign...but C said again she thought she looked pretty good and we would start working now on introducing a counter canter exercise to prep for that. 

I struggled a bit understanding at first what she wanted which led to a confused Tillie...and she really let me know how unfair it was at one point. C wanted us cantering and after the corner present like we were going to do a diagonal change of rein, but then by the center of the ring, still be on the quarter line and present Tillie back to the corner. 

Drawing it out makes more sense then explaining it

I was riding too deep and going all the way to the center line and when I heard C say no too deep I would panick and go back to the wall which confused Tillie and would result some of the time getting a flying change (which I have no idea how to ride or ask for yet...lol so good to know they are there!) and my balance and weight being all wrong and Tillie just getting pissed at me for getting in her way. 

BUT I finally understood it when C walked it for me...lol yes I was having that much of an issue and was clearly on the struggle bus and it produced such a wonderful canter by the end. 

It was clear at this point too, but crookedness issue was part of what was making this exercise so hard which C agreed and imbalance will get called out and show up in lateral work. So I need to go back to yoga and rebuild back to how strong I was before getting sick to catch myself back up. 

C left me with one more exercise where I would try an extended trot across the diagonal and then trot a 10 m circle to get her back to get Tillie sitting and lifting with a bit more forward and balanced and back to slow and balanced which is hard for her, and to test my evenness in both stirrups. 

The first two times Tillie broke to canter. The first time was right lead canter and then left because I over corrected. The last few times doing it was the coolest feeling...while it wasnt 100% correct extended trot C was excited we had a few steps of Tillie really sitting and toeing the line with the toe flick...she said you could really see Tillie testing her balance here and was impressed with how quickly she got comfortable doing it.

Tillie on the left ignoring the baby horse quivering and her shennanigans


  1. Gotta love a good dressage lesson. It sounds like Tilly is really starting to get things.

    1. I hope so! Its starting to become fun again with me having to worry less about her going bananas and can focus more on riding LOL. I am so excited that despite being in less consistent work with my sickness, shes managed to stay sane with a lot less of her silliness.

  2. Replies
    1. I was all smiles despite feeling crummy :) I know Tillie thought she was the best!

  3. omg I can't wait to ride w C again!!

    1. id love to get on a regular schedule! Although, I am not sure I can afford that every week through winter...:(