Thursday, February 4, 2016

Before the storm dressage lesson recap

To get us back on a timeline...right after the vet visit declaring Tillie just fine Tuesday, January 20th (see recap post here), I was clear to start riding her but succumbed to my workload from my day well as our ring freezing so not having lights to ride at night after my day job. 

Tillie in her hooded blanket all ready before the storm

I decided that since I had to take off for my house that Friday the 22nd anyway, I should just squeeze in a lesson before the blizzard hit....and boy am I glad I did because I had yet to be able to ride at the farm since with the snow overtaking everything.

Pre-ride selfie

With Tillie having a lot of time off, she start out a bit fresh complete with what I like to call the Whip-nae-nae move where she swings and shakes her head threatening to be soooo bad. Luckily, that is all she did and once she was warm, had a pretty darn good work ethic.

I continue to struggle with her tracking left head wag which C implored to try to concentrate on that because head wags could grow to more serious bridle lameness which is REALLY hard to correct. UGH. Its so frustrating because I dont feel like that left arm is locked...but after asking around a bit I Tried somethings this past weekend that really seemed to work! Ill update in a later blog post ;)

Despite this, Tillie really was trotting VERY well and C even remarked how different she looks reflecting back to the first few lessons.

A few of my favorite moments from the lesson

For comparison, a clip from one of my first lessons with C in July:

I entered a local dressage show for the middle of this month, so C had us work on our center line turns and halts since those are your first and last impression for the judge. We struggled a bit at first with straightness, but we finally started to get it.

Tillie started setting in really nicely at this point, despite all her sneezing. I LOVE this still below because she looks like shes breathing out smoke/fire like the fire breathing dragon mare she thinks she is.

Huge smile from me despite Tillie's dragon side coming out

We moved on to canter work and our transitions are really getting better! Although, this lesson her left lead was awfully weak and unbalanced...the more unbalanced she gets the more defensive I get and its sets in motion this terrible chain of events of me sitting too far back, locking my knees and just overall tension.

Unfortunately my phone died so we didnt capture fixing it or right lead canter which was so lovely even C said it looked really good...and we never get that on our canter work since Tillie usually is down hill. Her canter has been our latest struggle now that the trot is coming together...but its always something right!?

All in all, it felt good to be on and it was WONDERFUL because Tillie self loaded both ways without any issue. I even had her pause and wait at the ramp before backing all the way off!


  1. i *love* how C focuses on strategy in the movements, especially the center line turns. it's really helped me figure out how to ride the tests, but also how to practice and set things up while i'm schooling on my own. anyway Tillie looks great in the videos, like she's really thinking and learning too!

  2. I haven't watched the videos yet but Tillie looks fabulous in the stills! :)

  3. I can't watch videos at work (computer blocks them) but the still shots look amazing! :D

  4. She looks like she is really covering some good ground now in her trot!

  5. Looking good! Love that fire breathing dragon picture.