Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jumping bean by day, dressage diva by night

As I said in a recent blog post, I am making an effort to be sure I get over to lesson with C more often because the difference is evident and carries over into our jumping. The more we dressage with her, the more soft and relaxed Tillie becomes. 

I was excited this time because I asked C to try her Custom Saddlery VLX again to see if it would feel just as awesome as it did a few months ago...and it didnt disappoint. 

Tillie really goes phenomenal in it. Her back swings more in all three gaits and our lengthenings were by far the best they have ever been - who knew a dressage diva lived in there! C agreed this was the most consistent in the contact and confirmed shes ever seen Tillie - yay!! 

The saddle also fits ME well, which has seemed to be a bit of a struggle. Tillie has large but flat shoulders and a very short rib cage and I have a short leg and large booty. Lol BUT I think at this point its going to finding an affordable exact match that will be the challenge. 

Here is the compilation:

I loved that right away when I got on Tillie was ready to work. She wasnt a looky at things even at the far side of the ring and when I picked her up there was much less rooting and fuss in the walk.

C had us right away ask to push the trot and get Tillie out of her comfort zone and then warm up with some gradual leg yields. Next, she had us do a bit of a serpentine/changing bend exercise that did wonders to unlock Tillie's neck and really get her supple. As the clinician said this winter, he neck is the key to getting her soft. And boy did it work! Even changing the bend from right to left was soooo smooth when usually she is a bit harder that way.

Our lengthenings are still slow to develop and she isnt quite letting all her balance go yet, but the feeling I got in this lesson was by the most "toeing the line" we have ever gotten and you can hear me in the video the last two times laughing and say "OH MY GOODNESS". Tillie LOVED doing them and it was quite fun to feel her really fill up the contact and dig in for them.

We sprinkled canter in around those...I am glad I have footage of our canter work since now we are digging more into canter. It didnt feel nearly as good as it looks and I was laughing at the end at how messy it felt. C reassured me that it wasnt, its just new so things feel a bit all over the place, but will settle the more we work on it.

So here, C had us trying to smooth out the canter transition and work on my not freezing and keeping the inside bend. What was so glorious about this, that if I rode it well, the resulting canter was really nice. C commented how nice her downward transitions have gotten and our goal is to get our upwards equally as nice. Yay!!

So all in all it was a great learning lesson. Most of them are with C lol, but I am super excited with how things are progressing!


  1. Tillie looks great, but your position is looking SO solid lately!