Thursday, December 31, 2015

When the going gets rough - we dressage.

Lately, when I stress about Tillie (and non) related things I seem to have a habit of seeking out a dressage lesson with C. Sometimes it was unconscious other times it was not...but it seems to do the trick and get me and Tillie both relaxing. Who knew that by me being able to relax ends up producing a horse that is lovely and willing.

Tillie relaxing into a bigger trot in yesterday's lesson

I managed to convince C to fit me and thankfully she had some off we went. Tillie wasnt nearly as back sore as she was the few days around Christmas so that put me at ease a bit. But Silly mare still can not stand up in my trailer around turns. She ripped part of the outer layer of her BOT mesh sheet from slamming her shoulders side to side :( 

It is really quite a miracle she loads because it looks unpleasant....

At least it isnt affecting getting to work on a more uphill trot!
Tille started off a bit ticked off initially, but C encouraged me to relax and let her slowly warm up not just get on and go. She stayed fairly inconsistent in the bridle in my opinion, BUT I am attributing some of that to the fact that dressaging on our own hasnt been happening much outside of one or two rides between jump lessons and my last dressage lesson.

She was especially fussy with the left side and C suggested possibly mouth sore...and to check my pelham. I am in need of a slightly larger size for it so could be causing some issue there for least i hope that is all it is. Fortunately, I feel OK with the double reins enough to only use it for jumping her for now. 

Fancy schmancy! 

Here is where we started warming up...notice in the remaining videos I post that she consistently inverts or fusses tracking left towards this side of the ring which is closer to the trailer and other horses so not sure if that is related or not or if it is just C's mouth theory.

Warm up tracking right...shes always a bit more consistent and easier to ride to the right:

C had us start keeping the rhythm around the larger ring and try some leg yielding to get her a bit softer and trying to get her more comfortable relaxing when moving her around.

We started to get to the meat of the lesson and talking about getting her sitting more on her hind end since I expressed my concern about this with Tillie and with jumping. C gave us a great exercise that i can also do at home:

When we opened up to more trot it was shockingly hard for Tillie to trust her balance going forward, but once she did I felt like her trot looked quite nice! 

By this point, Tillie felt really nice, but watching back videos notice she is inconsistent a bit in contact...but I am not terribly concerned with that nearly as much as I am about the tracking left, twisting and bobbing head thing. The bend was there so that is improving, but this head thing kills me.

C says its my left arm being really tense and not moving...and while it could be, I cant imagine why now? LOL and logically I know horses evolve and change and of course it can happen. I just dont want to get down this slippery slope and rein lameness which I have seen happen. I REALLY need to figure out what it is i am doing that causes this. Even when I concentrate on it, it doesnt seem to "feel" different.

*Le sigh*

At this point we ran out of time to canter, so C invited me to stay in the ring and continue practicing. My student who was filming managed to snap some of this too...

Well, there is my dressage lesson recap. Hope you all have a happy new year! 


  1. Yay for Dressage! There is nothing quite like a good dressage lesson to make anything feel possible, at least for me.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you :) I constantly doubt her abilities which isnt fair to its nice to hear! THANK YOU!

  3. glad you had such a nice lesson, she looked great for the little bit that i saw!

    1. Thanks!! I just need to figure out how to recreate this on my own!