Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dressaging until we die

In my latest mission to sort out our tension issues at events during our dressage phase, I signed up to do a fix a test at Loch Moy yesterday. This venue also happens to be where we score the lowest because it is so massive and busy that Tillie just cant seem to settle in. Or I cant seem to shake my own tension. Can anyone say stressage? Either way, some soul searching for this phase is needed to be had.

Im ready to try mom!
I had one goal: Test various things in warm up to see what works for us so I got on a good 45 minutes early. So I walked around in the top ring (which was busier) for a while and warmed up in that area and then walked around for a long while and made my way down to the lower ring where we would do our test and warmed up there too.

This was one of our better warm ups...not as great as Elkrdige (our first novice), but I was able to ask for some stretchy trot circles and soooome lengthenings. Doing the bigger trot helped confirm her more in my contact and realize forward is ok without cantering since she start anticipating canter a lot during this phase.

Unfortunately I didnt get it on video...and I wish I had, because the feeling of the first and second test, not so great. Granted, they were definite improvements from the last events and I did get some moments of softening through her back, but the mare is smart and she knows the test even though we never run through it at home. This means she anticipates and she baits me every. single. time.

What I basically need to do is stay consistent in what I am doing. If she blips or whatever she'll learn from it. I need to stop trying to help her.

I was good yes?
The judge couldnt have been nicer and agreed she could tell the horse anticipates, I need to step more in my left stirrup and it will help her and just work on over all suppling her. Most of my marks improved just from smarter test riding so my new goal is to practice at home schooling in the smaller ring and just portions of tests for accuracy. (No oval circles or early transitions kind of stuff).

Test 1 I was definitely in my head too much and I realize now most of our issues probably are my issues - like OMG this turn is coming up too fast, shes too heavy on my rein here shit it has to be fixed right now...just over all general heightened over the top trying to be perfect. 

I need to let it go. Just like TIllie does with her own tension (I am sure I am creating most of it)...its soo much easier said then done, but thats the new goal!

Test 1
Test 2

On a side note some other barn mates came and did the CT and it was such a blast!!! They also XC schooled after as well which I was insanely excited for them...poor Tillie thought I was killing her by not allowing her to participate and only do the sandbox for the day. It was so fun watching them both do so well! 

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like it was a fun positive outing for all. I am not looking forward to figuring out how to keep Stinker's brain in his head during warm up